Deadpool may have been one of 2016’s biggest blockbusters, but it had a rocky path to the big screen. The film is based on the Marvel character of the same name, a foul-mouthed, anarchic anti-hero created by Rob Liefeld and Fabian Nicieza in 1991. Deadpool, however, didn’t quite fit the mold set forth in previously successful superhero flicks, and the team behind it had to fight for over a decade to get it made.
When it finally premiered last February, it unexpectedly smashed any studio expectations, garnering widespread praise and raking in over $782 million worldwide. It also landed a much-anticipated sequel shortly after its release, ostensibly setting it on the path to a franchise.
Perhaps emboldened by Deadpool’s triumph, Liefeld has now inked a deal to bring his entire Extreme Universe to theaters, Deadline reported. Producer Graham King (World War Z, The Departed) and writer-producer Akiva Goldsman (I Am Legend, A Beautiful Mind) have secured the rights to the project, which they’ll partner to develop. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the pair plan to set up a writer’s room and brainstorm, which Goldsman — who helmed similar processes for the Transformers film series — will oversee. They’ll produce alongside Liefeld and Brooklyn Weaver (Extant). According to Variety, Liefeld provided the following statement:
“Over the past nearly 25 years, since launching Image Comics, I’ve been lucky enough to see the power of these stories and characters as they’ve resonated with several generations of comic book fans. To now be able to work with Akiva Goldsman and Graham King, who are powerhouses in their own right, to bring these compelling characters and conflicts to life on the big screen is nothing short of a dream come true!”
Best known for co-creating the Deadpool, X-Force, and Cable series, Liefeld was one of the founding members of the 1990s-launched Image Comics. During his time with Marvel, his influence extended to popular characters and storylines featuring Spider-Man, X-Men, Captain America, and the Avengers. X-Force launched to 5 million sales and remains the second best-selling comic in history.
His Extreme Universe encompasses nine comics, including titles like Brigade, Battlestone, Bloodstrike, Kaboom, Regex, Cybrid, and Bloodwulf. Many of the nearly 100 characters that comprise them were written in the subversive, sharp-tongued style that made Deadpool a standout, and Extreme Universe will assumedly follow suit. Viewers praised Deadpool for shaking up superheroes in film, but the announcement of Extreme Universe’s adaption truly ushers in a new era for comics on screen.
We’ll keep you updated on Extreme Universe as more information becomes available.