You could learn a lot from Mark Millar. Seriously. Not content to let his movie option deal announcement go live and get covered everywhere, he got a full three days of publicity out of it! And made such a big deal of it that Bleeding Cool literally wouldn’t sleep until they scooped Deadline on the news — which everyone we talked to seems to have known for days. So a big deal becomes a Bigger Deal. That is how you market it, Mark Millar, and we salute you.
Anyway the actual news is that Fox has purchased NEMESIS, by Millar and Steve McNiven, as a directing vehicle for Tony Scott — director of things like TOP GUN and TRUE ROMANCE — with Scott Free set to produce.
You know, here’s another way Mark Millar is smart. With two books he owned made into DVD staple movies, he knows sticking with full ownership is the only way to fly. NEMESIS came out via Icon, Marvel’s imprint for important people. This story of a reverse Batman — a vigilante billionaire who sets out to avenge his parents against the cop who put them away — doesn’t sound all that different from tons of other comic book superhero twists, but it’s just the way he sold it. Or as one pal of ours put it,” Mark Millar is the Stan Lee of today.”
Millar delivers his “couldn’t be happier” speech on his message board:
Bryan Hitch and I would reference Tony on a weekly basis when we were doing The Ultimates. Our dream was an Ultimates movie with Scott directing because he can do the character work and the intensity, but also handle scale and action like practically no other. The idea of a him helming a superhero movie had us giddy and here he is directing the one Steve McNiven and I created. We found out last Friday night and managed to keep a secret from all but a few of our closest friends and family. But this is the call I had a couple of weeks back, which I described as the most exciting of my career; Tony on the blower chatting about how he wanted to shoot certain scenes if we gave him the rights. He was buzzing about it, describing Steve as the best comic book artist he’s seen in over twenty years. We talked casting, we talked budget (and we’re talking way more than Wanted and Kick-Ass put together here in terms of money for him to play with) and we talked with Fox about making this into a major franchise, something they’re really going to invest their time and energy into.
As you can imagine, I’m more than excited. Steve is delirious and this puts our books instantly in an entirely different league in Hollywood terms.
Mark Millar, winner of the week.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.