Johnny Depp has been getting into the comic book adaptation game of late - and, in typical Depp fashion, he's primarily interested in bringing more obscure and strange titles to the big screen.
Earlier this year, there was news that Depp would produce an adaptation of the alternate history comic series Rex Mundi through his Infinitum Nihil production company. Now, he's teaming up with GK Films for a cinematic version of The Vault, the sci-fi comic from writer Sam Sarkar and illustrator Garrie Gastonny (the team responsible for the Arthurian legend re-imagining Caliber) due to hit bookstands within the week.
Depp and his Nihil president Christi Dembrowski are producing the Vault movie alongside GK's Graham King and Tim Headington. King, as it were, previously collaborated with Depp on Rango and is working behind the scenes on Martin Scorsese's upcoming Hugo adaptation as well.
Heat Vision describes Sarkar's Vault comic as follows:
"... the underwater sci-fi story centers on a group of divers who, off the coast of Nov Scotia, uncover a sarcophagus with unusual remains and inadvertently unleash an ancient evil."
Sarkar's Vault comic was reportedly heavily influenced by several real-world elements and locations, including the famous Money Pit of Oak Island - and recent advancements in scuba diving and archaeological excavation technology.
The larger mythology of the three-issue comic book series will tie into the origin of megalithic architecture like the Great Pyramid of Giza, Stonehenge, and the statues of Easter Island, as the various members of the treasure-hunting expedition debate the history behind said artifacts (and their religious/scientific implications) in the face of unearthing the aforementioned mysterious "ancient evil."
In short: think a cross between The Thing and Stargate and you've got the basic premise for The Vault.
With the right people working behind the scenes, The Vault could actually make for an entertaining new sci-fi/horror tale, despite its similarities (on the surface, at least) to other entries in both genres. That staple "archaeological expedition uncovers ancient evil" can serve as the backdrop for an effective thriller, as it does in H.P. Lovecraft's original At the Mountains of Madness novella. On the other hand, that was also the narrative setup for AVP: Alien vs. Predator, so good results are not exactly guaranteed.
Depp's Rex Mundi adaptation is being brought to life by screenwriting duo Brian Klugman and Lee Sternthal (who received story credit for TRON: Legacy), so don't be surprised to hear about The Vault securing some noteworthy writing talent for scripting duties in the future. As always, we'll keep you posted.