With Oblivion—the Tom Cruise SF vehicle—opening next week, we have some official word about the graphic novel that inspired it, via Radical Studio’s evp Jesse Berger. Although I’ve been skeptical in the past about Radical’s publishing plans, they approached me in good faith to set the record straight, which is appreciated. In this case the pitch that inspired the movie—an ashcan edition of a text and concept art hybrid—will eventually be published, but not until the movie has run its course:
Although Kosinski has been saying in interviews that he didn’t feel the graphic novel treatment would be published, as he felt it was a version of the story he wasn’t that connected to, Radical, obviously, feels differently. “I think he’s leaving out the fact that movies and books don’t need to be exactly the same. They are called source material for a reason,” says Berger. However, because of various marketing factors, including keeping some of the surprises in the film secret, Radical will not release the graphic novel version until later in 2014.
So there. Radical is also planning to revisit their take on Hercules, which will form the basis of a movie next year, and has more film projects planned, as well as a digital platform for their IP. As Berger told me, comics publishing isn’t the easiest business in the world, so we’ll leave this story with Radical mostly in the business they probably always wanted to be in: developing movie properties.
As I said in the first piece linked to above, the glitzy comics-to-movies company model of the Aughts—Virgin, Radical, Platinum—has mostly run its course, with very little to show for it.
BUT, coming up later this year: 2 Guns, starring Mark Wahlberg and Denzel Washington and based on the Steven Grant/Mat Santolouco comic of the same name, published by Boom! Studios. Boom! is obviously in the comics publishing business for the long haul, and 2 Guns is a story Grant worked on for a long time. I’m always rooting for both Steven Grant and Denzel and this sounds like a solid thriller based on solid source material.
Are comics the shortcut to Hollywood success? No way. Does hard work sometimes pay off? Absolutely. Save me the aisle seat.
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.