Studios have had reason to believe that superhero teams play well with mainstream audiences ever since 2000’s X-Men scored big at the box office (and subsequently launched a franchise). However, this didn’t prepare anyone for the astronomical numbers that Marvel’s The Avengers landed earlier this year. With that record-breaker now in the cinematic history books (and its own sequel on the way), it’s no wonder that another comics-based team is on its way to theaters.
According to Deadline, producer Scott Stuber (Ted, Battleship) has optioned the graphic novel The Order for a big screen adaptation. The story (which bears no relation to the Marvel comic of the same name) involves a group of young Catholic priests who travel the world vanquishing evil.
Brian Nathanson (The Many Deaths of Barnaby James) has been tapped to write the script, and Stuber’s Bluegrass Films will produce alongside Arcana/Benderspink, the production house working on such high-profile projects as The Hangover Part III and The Incredible Burt Wonderstone.
While The Order may not be a particularly well-known property, the concept could certainly have legs. The premise sounds like a combination of The Exorcist, 2005 Keanu Reeves vehicle Constantine (itself based on the vastly different comic book Hellblazer) and TV’s Supernatural. All those projects have proven successful, and upcoming releases like the Sam Raimi-produced The Possession and Paranormal Activity 4 indicate that moviegoers’ fascination with the occult has yet to be satisfied.
However, comic book films are all about the execution, and The Order will live or die based on its casting and how well it educates the potential audience on the world it’s creating. Let’s not forget that for every Iron Man, there’s a Green Lantern. To set itself apart, The Order will need a leading man as compelling as Robert Downey Jr. (or better yet, a group of them) or a director as skilled as The Dark Knight Rises’ Christopher Nolan.
Time will tell how this one turns out, but expect the project to undergo a name change prior to its release to avoid confusion with the Marvel title.
Are you familiar with The Order, Screen Rant readers? Do you think it will translate well into a film? Let us know in the comments.