'Dope' Filmmaker Tackling 'Black Hole' Adaptation (Exclusive)

Plan B and New Regency have teamed to produce the film version of the cult graphic novel by Charles Burns.
Jeffrey Mayer/Getty Images (Famuyiwa); Courtesy of Pantheon Graphic Novels (Cover)
Rick Famuyiwa

Rick Famuyiwa, best known for directing the celebrated 2015 coming-of-age movie Dope, has signed on to write and direct Black Hole, New Regency and Plan B’s adaptation of the graphic novel by Charles Burns.

Plan B and New Regency’s Arnon Milchan are set to produce the film. New Regency will finance the project.

The move kick-starts a project that has been in development on and off since 2005, when it was to have been adapted by horror director Alexandre Aja. Neil Gaiman and Pulp Fiction co-writer Roger Avery developed it for a time, and the project was set up for years at Paramount with David Fincher attached to direct.

Set in the Pacific Northwest during the 1970s, Black Hole follows a group of high schoolers who contract a mysterious, apparently sexually transmitted disease known as "the Bug.” As the syndrome causes physical mutations, turning the teens into something else, the community is left to deal with the fallout.

Burns wrote and illustrated 12 issues of Hole over a 10-year period, with the story being collected into graphic novel form in 2005. It gained a cult following while also receiving a Harvey Award, an Ignatz Award and an Eisner Award.

Black Hole is the latest project that partners New Regency and Plan B, which have previously teamed on the Oscar-winning and thought-provoking films 12 Years a Slave and The Big Short. They next have the sci-fi pic Ad Astra, starring Plan B principal Brad Pitt and directed by James Gray, and the two companies are developing Wrong Answer, a project to be helmed by Black Panther’s Ryan Coogler, written by Ta-Nehisi Coates and starring Michael B. Jordan.

In addition to writing and directing Dope, Famuyiwa helmed the pilot for the Showtime drama The Chi, which was just renewed for a second season. He also directed the Emmy-nominated HBO film Confirmation starring Kerry Washington.

Famuyiwa is repped by WME, Oasis Media Group and Del, Shaw.