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Hollywood has been doing its best to turn over each rock and unearth every possible superhero property in hopes of mining franchise potential. While Marvel and D.C. bend and shape their classic characters into popcorn-worthy blockbusters, smaller labels are turning to off-the-radar yet still popular heroes for new movie projects. The latest, according to reports, will be based on Shadowman, from a script by J. Michael Straczynski.
First, some history. Shadowman is a Valiant Comic star, a reluctant hero who chiefly defends New Orleans from a dark and mysterious threat. His secret identity is Jack Boniface, a man destined to be a hero who must rise up and accept his dangerous powers when the evil Master Darque removes the barrier separating our world from the Deadside (which is about as bad as you can imagine).
Deadline reports that Straczynski will pen the Shadowman script, saying:
“Shadowman is a character who lives in a unique world that mixes the modern world with that which is most ancient within us. The New Orleans vibe and history, and the struggle to find a balance with the personality within him, is a perfect dramatic vehicle. We’ve already finished the outline and there’s a lot of action, much of it unique to what Shadowman can do … but at the core of it, there’s a strong character, world and mythology that can be explored across multiple subsequent films. This is gonna be fun.”
Handing a comic book property – any comic book property – over to Straczynski is a step in the right direction. His past credits include Thor for Marvel and episodes of television series like The Twilight Zone and Babylon 5 (which he created). He helped improve multiple comic book titles at DC and Marvel Comics, including The Amazing Spider-Man and Superman: Earth One. The man knows comics, so if he’s interested in helping to bring Shadowman to the big screen, we’re on board. In the Deadline piece, Valiant CEO Jason Kothari speaks of launching “a potential franchise here,” so let’s hope Straczynski can get them off on the right foot.