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James Wan has already made a name for himself directing horror movies (most recently with The Conjuring 2), but now he's jumping into the superhero movie genre in more ways than one. We've known for a while that he's working with Warner Bros and DC Comics to helm the 2018 Aquaman movie, but while he's involved with that, he'll also be producing a movie based off a comic book that he co-wrote several years ago: Malignant Man.
Although the project was originally announced back in 2014, THR dropped the news today that San Andreas director Brad Peyton will helm the Malignant Man movie for 20th Century. James Wan will produce the adaptation of his Boom! Studios graphic novel through his Atomic Monster label. Zak Olkewicz wrote a draft of the movie, but presumably Peyton and Wan will have some input on how this story is translated before cameras start rolling. This is the latest Boom! Studios property that's been announced to be brought to the big screen, following The Empty Man and Irredeemable.
Malignant Man is the story about Alan Gates, a cancer patient who has resigned himself to his terminal prognosis until he discovers that his tumor is actually an alien parasite. Even weirder, this parasite is giving him superpowers, so with a renewed purpose and a second chance at life, he sets out to battle a secret society tucked away underneath society's surface while also learning more about his own mysterious past. Given that the original Malignant Man comic book only lasted a couple of issues, that would suggest this will be a one-and-done movie, though depending on how successful it is, maybe Fox will try to stretch it into a whole series.
It's no secret that the comic book movie genre is dominated by DC Comics and Marvel, the latter of which also encompasses Fox's X-Men and Fantastic Four offerings. So any time a property from a different company gets to be made into a movie is a welcome change of pace from the usual superhero fare. Obviously James Wan is directly overseeing Aquaman for the DC Extended Universe, so that's where his main superhero movie priorities are directed. However, Malignant Man obviously means a lot to Wan (he worked on it with co-writer Michael Alan Nelson and artist Piotr Kowalski), so having him involved should bode well for it being adapted properly. As for Brad Peyton, his other directorial work includes Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore, Journey 2: The Mysterious Island and the upcoming Rampage adaptation, so we'll just have to wait and see how he handles this particular comic book story.
There's no release date attached to Malignant Man yet, but stay tuned for more updates surrounding its development.