Sunday, November 24, 2013

Progress on the Sleeper Adaptation: Damon and Affleck Producing, Shield Creator Writing.

In 2008, we covered the first news about an adaptation for Sleeper, Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips' first major collaboration, an espionage thriller set in DC's super-powered WildStorm universe.  We noted that the Tom Cruise vehicle was also being considered for a film franchise.  However, in May, 2012, we reported that Brubaker seemed resigned to the fact that a Sleeper movie is "never going to happen."

This past Thursday night, Variety exclusively reported a very positive development:  Warner Bros. has now chosen Ben Affleck and Matt Damon's Pearl Street company to produce a Sleeper adaptation, with the writing team of Shawn Ryan and David Wiener.   (Hat-tip to CBR.)

Ryan was the creator and showrunner for the series The Shield, and Wiener worked him on the "Last Resort," for which Ryan was co-creator.  Brubaker has tweeted that he has "very high hopes" with the two of them on board -- and he reminds fans of the recently released "doorstop edition" for those who want to catch up with the series. 

The 720-page hardcover omnibus was released earlier this year, and it' s a perfect complement to the deluxe editions of Criminal and Incognito.

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I remember reading a comment from Brubaker, that his career would have unfold very differently indeed had Sleeper been creator-owned.  I honestly think the work benefited from being in an established universe, and there may have been intangible benefits from the fact that the Brubaker/Phillips team's first collaboration was for the Big Two publishers.

Between Catwoman, Gotham Central, Captain America, and Daredevil, Ed Brubaker has had plenty of mainstream, for-hire work to create a readership that will follow him to his independent work; ditto, Sean Phillips, especially with the first Marvel Zombies series.

But with Sleeper, there's a "gateway drug" specifically for Brubaker/Phillips, for fans of traditional superhero comics.

Fans of Hard Case Crime and Richard Stark's Parker should start with Criminal.  Fans of DC and Marvel might do well to start with Sleeper.

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We're hoping that we soon see a film adaptation that does the original comic justice, and we hope that its success leads more readers to Fatale and their entire back catalog.

In the meantime, we'll continue to post updates as we find them.

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