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Grimjack Movie In The Works From The Russo Brothers

Joe and Anthony Russo aren't done mining the comics for box office gold.

At the ace directing duo's panel at San Diego Comic-Con, they announced to the assembled throng that they have acquired the rights to '80s indie comic Grimjack, with an eye toward giving it the feature treatment, or possibly developing a series for Amazon. (via Collider)

If you're not familar with Grimjack, you're not alone — but the comic boasts a complex central character and crazy setting for which the Russo Brothers' filmmaking sensibilities seem uniquely suited. They have fielded four of the most vaunted films in the history of the Marvel Cinematic Universe: Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War, and Avengers: Endgame, three of which have shattered the billion-dollar mark at the worldwide box office. Three of those films juggled ridiculously huge casts composed mainly of actors cast by other filmmakers, and one of them — Endgame, which is destined to become the highest-grossing film in history — dealt extensively with the concept of alternate timelines and the ramifications of tampering with them.

This will come into play during their work on Grimjack, which features a setting and story elements that would be a challenge for any filmmaker. Published between 1984 and 1991 by the now-defunct First Comics, the series followed the title character (real name John Gaunt), who was born in the slums of the city of Cynosure, a pan-dimensional settlement which is the nexus of all realities. After enduring a troubled childhood (typified by his father drunkenly attacking him on his eighth birthday before falling into a fireplace and burning to death), John's path took him to many strange places over the course of the comics' run. He's been a common street thief, a gang member, a thug for hire, a gladiator, and a member of the trans-dimensional police; you know, all of the standard stuff for your average comic book hero.

 The comic was one of a handful which constituted the vanguard of the movement toward a dark and gritty aesthetic in the mid to late '80s, and it's retained a healthy fan base even though it ceased publication nearly 30 years ago. The legal rights to the character (and, crucially, the setting of Cynosure) have been tied up to some extent or another since First Comics went out of business in 1991. 

It's worth mentioning that there are conflicting reports as to the nature of the project. While Collider asserts that the Russos are intent on producing a feature film (but most likely not directing, since they'll be tied up with other projects), it's also been reported by Deadline that the property is in development at Amazon with an eye toward adapting it into a television series. Given the dense and varied nature of the source material, it's our humble opinion that the latter would be the most creatively viable route, as it would offer the opportunity to explore Grimjack's many past vocations, and could take its time exploring all of the alternate dimensions which converge on Cynosure.

Obviously, this is a project that is in the very early stages of development, but it's as intriguing as they come. It could be effectively argued that, with its influence on the dark, grounded superhero tales that informed much of modern superhero cinema, Grimjack is a property that has been overlooked for adaptation for far too long. We'll be keeping our finger on the pulse of this one, and we'll be on hand to report any additional details the moment they break.