In another move to turn Valiant Comic characters into movie properties, the adaptation of supernatural hero Shadowman has gained director Reginald Hudlin. While Marvel and DC continue to dominate when it comes to movies and TV, a number of indie comic publishers are attempting to use the popularity of superheroes to bring their characters to life. On the small screen, titles like Lucifer and The Walking Dead have made the jump, but the big screen is almost completely occupied by the two major publishers. Valiant Comics, however, hopes to change that.
As part of their new production arm Valiant Entertainment, the company has already made a 5-picture deal with Sony to adapt their Harbinger and Bloodshot properties. After losing the directors of John Wick, Bloodshot recently gained the visual effects supervisor from Avengers: Age of Ultron as its new helmer. Harbinger, meanwhile, is currently being rewritten in hopes of making it to the screen. As the company’s two most well-known characters, they’ll likely test the waters for future films. In the meantime, a film based on the Shadowman character is quickly gaining speed.
THR is reporting that the Shadowman script is being taken over by Salem showrunner Adam Simon. Originally written by comics veteran J. Michael Straczynski (who is also the co-creator of Sense8), Simon will help to reshape the story along with Hudlin, who will also serve as the film’s director, with Straczynski remaining onboard as a producer. For Hudlin, the project will finally see his twin passions of film and comics combined. The director of movies like The Great White Hype and House Party, Hudlin is also an accomplished comics writer, best known for his work on Black Panther. With Shadowman, he’ll be able to combine his deft social eye with his skill for fantastical stories.
Debuting in 1992, Shadowman the comic and character revolve around Jack Boniface, a New Orleans musician who gains supernatural powers and begins fighting an ancient war of magic and mysticism versus the evil Master Darque. With Doctor Strange already proving a success, Shadowman will enable fans to dive into a darker side of the supernatural superhero world.
Hudlin is a smart choice, thanks to long career tackling film, comics, and the black experience in America. From his directing and comic writing work, to his running of BET, to his current task of reviving Milestone Comics, Hudlin will bring something unique to the Shadowman film.
In the meantime, Valiant are pursuing adaptations on the small screen as well. Rumors broke last year that The CW would be adapting Dr. Mirage, though the project has gone quiet. Meanwhile, the Russo Brothers are all set to produce a TV show based on the popular Quantum & Woody series. And along with that more irreverent project, Archer & Armstrong is being developed as a film under Zombieland‘s Ruben Fleischer. For fans of Valiant Comics and its many characters, it’s an exciting time. And for genre fans in general, Shadowman could be something special.