In an exclusive deal with Netflix, Michael B. Jordan will soon reunite with Black Panther’s screenwriter for Failsafe, an adaptation of the Vault Comics series. If everything goes as planned, Jordan will not only produce the potential blockbuster, but also land the lead role as an insurgent hunter out for vengeance.
In contrast to popular franchises like Marvel Comics and DC Comics, Vault Comics is relatively new. Founded in 2016, the privately owned company released Failsafe’s first issue on April 19, 2017, in which protagonist John Ravane comes to the realization that he didn’t actually eliminate the world's last nanotech-enhanced super soldier. After his daughter’s kidnapping, Ravane navigates New York to battle sleeper agents, corruption and the inevitable surprises that emerge along the way. The six-episode series was written F.J. DeSanto and Todd Farmer with art by Federico Dallocchio.
Per Deadline, Netflix has acquired the rights to Failsafe, and the project will officially reunite Jordan with Black Panther screenwriter Joe Robert Cole. Behind the scenes, Jordan will co-produce with Alana Mayo via Outlier Society Productions, while his casting won’t be decided until the script’s completion. Based on Cole’s resume, however, it seems likely that Jordan’s acting involvement is only inevitable.
In 2016, Cole served as co-producer for the FX series The People v O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, and he also wrote the episodes “A Jury in Jail” and “The Race Card,” the latter of which earned him a Primetime Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Writing for a Limited Series, Movie or a Dramatic Special. For the 2018 film Black Panther, Cole teamed up with director Ryan Coogler, and the end result of their collaboration – the 18th film of the Marvel Cinematic Universe – was nothing less than extraordinary, as the $200 million production outperformed its budget six times over.
In Black Panther, Jordan portrays N’Jadaka aka. Erik “Killmonger” Stevens, the cousin and nemesis of protagonist T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman). Based on Jordan’s dynamic performance and upcoming roles in both HBO’s Fahrenheit 451 and the Rocky franchise film Creed 2, he’s in line to elevate Netflix to new heights with his latest venture. In 1999, Jordan made his television debut on The Sopranos, and later played a pivotal role on The Wire’s first season in 2002.
On paper, Failsafe seems like a logical starring vehicle for Jordan. But given the momentum of his career, it’s possible that he may hand over the wheel to a lesser-known talent, one that will be in good hands with Jordan working behind the scenes and Cole writing the script. Whatever the case, keep an eye out for Failsafe.