Mark Millar, Joe Roth Partner for 'Empress' Film Adaptation (Exclusive)
On the heels of selling the movie rights to two of his comics last week, author Mark Millar has jumped back into the crystalline waters of Hollywood once again.
Millar has partnered with producers Joe Roth and Jeff Kirschenbaum to bring the comic author’s latest work, Empress, to the big screen.
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F. Scott Frazier, who wrote the script for xXx: The Return of Xander Cage, the Vin Diesel action vehicle currently in production, has been tapped to pen the script for Empress.
The comic, co-created and drawn by Stuart Immonen, centers on the wife of a galactic dictator (a la Ming the Merciless from Flash Gordon) who makes the decision to leave her evil husband and take her three kids with her. With the aid of a bodyguard, she escapes with her brood — Aine, her 15-year-old daughter who wants to be with her father; Adam, her gentle soul of a 10-year-old son who she knows would not survive the trials ahead to be an elite ruler; and Puck, her 18-month-old — to her home world. But the dictator husband, with armies at his disposal, isn’t going to let her go without a fight.
The first issue, published by Marvel’s creator-owned Icon imprint, was a sell-out when it debuted in April. Issue #2 drops tomorrow.
Last week, Waypoint Entertainment, the company behind the upcoming Shane Black action comedy The Nice Guys, acquire the rights to Millar’s Supercrooks and American Jesus. Meanwhile, a sequel to Kingsman: The Secret Service, based on Millar’s The Secret Service, is production in London.
That activity doesn’t include the many other titles he’s set up, ranging from Huck at Studio 8 to Chrononauts at Universal to Starlight at Fox with Simon Kinberg producing.
Empress reunites Millar with Kirschenbaum, the exec who brought in one of Millar’s early creator-owned comics, Wanted, turning it into a hit Angelina Jolie action movie.
"Nobody creates universes that translate into big movie ideas better than Millar,” said Kirschenbaum. “With Empress, he's raised the bar yet again. Part Star Wars, part Guardians of the Galaxy and part something wholly fresh that only the amazing brain of Millar could spawn."
Said Millar: “In terms of pure concept, this is the most ambitious story I’ve ever come up with, so it needed the most experienced producers I’ve ever been in business with. Joe Roth is a genuine Hollywood legend and Jeff Kirschenbaum was part of the team that broke every record in the book at Universal last year. Even being on the same poster as these two guys is exciting to me.”
Millar is repped by Paradigm and attorney Harris Miller. Frazier is repped by CAA, DMG Entertainment and McKuin Frankel.
by Graeme McMillan