The work of Warren Ellis is awfully prodigious and well-regarded, you don’t need me to tell you that. But it’s amazing how little of it has actually been adapted into the live action format.
Short of Red (and its sequel) and a few influencing factors that he’s had on superhero projects – Iron Man 3 namely – there’s a real paucity of Ellis-based film and television. I mean, how wonderful would Planetary be as a television series? That just seems like a ready-made concept in a landscape that is ripe for some real superhero deconstruction/reconstruction. And of course, many of the themes of Transmetropolitan remain as relevant today as ever.
Perhaps we’re seeing a real turnabout though, as much like Grant Morrison is finally getting his long overdue shot at live action, Ellis is getting another go as NBCUniversal and Tom Hardy’s Hardy, Son & Baker production company will be adapting his alien invasion-ensemble drama Trees according to Deadline.
Trees, an Image release which Ellis co-created with artist Jason Howard, is set in the aftermath of the arrival of an alien presence that resembles giant pillar/tree-like structures, all across the world and their wide-ranging effects and influence they exert on global politics and social structures. The book settles in on a widely diverse cast, both with a direct stake in the “trees” origins and those who are simply trying to make it through the day.
There’s no word yet on when production would begin, and what shape exactly it would take (be it film or television), but Hardy, Son & Baker are already hard at work tackling DC/Vertigo’s 100 Bullets for the big screen. More to come hopefully!