Comic book adaptations can't get any hotter, and Warner Bros. is pinning their hopes largely on the shoulders of writer/director/producer David S. Goyer, with writing credits on both the Dark Knight and Man of Steel projects. But while capes and cowls are good for some, there is just as much potential packed in DC Comics' Vertigo imprint - a fact made clear by the new revelation that FBP: Federal Bureau of Physics is in active development.
Casual comic fans may define a 'DC movie' as one centering on the Justice League and their iconic villains, but with The Sandman one of the first projects apparently pushed by Goyer, it seems that the Vertigo Comics stable is being explored with an eye for adaptation just as much. And with the mind-bending FBP (originally released under the name "Collider") now boasting a writer with some experience in adapting comic book properties, the trend towards fantastic fiction continues.
According to Deadline, Goyer is in place to produce the adaptation from Warner Bros. alongside Nellie Reed, with a script being provided by Justin Marks (The Jungle Book, Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li) based off a treatment supplied by Simon Oliver, the comic's co-creator.
Telling the tale of a near-future in which the very fabric of space-time has begun to split at the seams, FBP: Federal Bureau of Physics chronicles the efforts of the world's most brilliant minds in the field of quantum mechanics as they scramble to keep up. Sudden losses of gravity, weakening of the laws of physics, or even sudden mirror universes formed in bubbles above the Earth's surface are all featured, with industrial espionage turning the catastrophe to the benefit of major corporations.
That might sound like a particularly high-concept premise (and therefore par for the course for Vertigo Comics), but the story centers on a single FBP agent, Adam Hardy. Instead of a brilliant scientist, readers are walked through the world as Hardy effectively cleans up quantum messes across America, before stumbling onto a larger conspiracy. As one of Vertigo's most highly touted new series, we've been expecting to see the property adapted since its first issue.
The length and content of Justin Marks' resume may be cause for concern to some, but his services have been actively sought out by several studios over the past few years. With his work on Jon Favreau's The Jungle Book one of the most recent examples, Marks also supplied the script to WB's Suicide Squad comic adaptation that has since been put on hold. And don't overlook his past work on video game adaptations of both Dead Space and Shadow of the Colossus.
Considering what's taken place at Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment so far, those skeptical of David S. Goyer may be forced to shift their thinking before long. While Batman vs. Superman has been delayed to 2016 (now going head-to-head with Captain America 3), Goyer's role as 'architect' of the studio's comic book properties has taken a surprising turn. As of this writing, the two projects now confirmed to be on his shortlist include the most groundbreaking comic Vertigo ever produced, and one of the most recent and promising.
Not only that, but Goyer managed to attach serious talent, with Joseph Gordon-Levitt seemingly on board to either star in or direct The Sandman. There's no word on such a high caliber of talent being interested in FBP, but it may not need it to turn heads. Occupying the spaces outside of physics and reality, a film based on the comic series could contain no small amount of Inception-esque action sequences, or stick to a smaller budget if that is indeed WB's plans.
We'll keep you posted as more information regarding the film is released, but what are your immediate reactions? Are you happy to see the Vertigo imprint gain so much attention, or is it the most iconic DC Comics heroes you would rather see adapted to film? Sound off in the comments.
Follow Andrew on Twitter @andrew_dyce.