'Short Term 12' Director to Adapt Scott McCloud's 'The Sculptor' Graphic Novel (Exclusive)

Destin Daniel Cretton, playwright Michael Mitnick and 21 Laps have teaming up to adapt the graphic novel, which has been picked up by Warner Bros.
Jenny Anderson/WireImage; Courtesy of First Second
Destin Daniel Cretton, 'The Sculptor'

Scott McCloud's acclaimed graphic novel The Sculptor is heading to the big screen.

Destin Daniel Cretton, the director behind drama Short Term 12, playwright Michael Mitnick, and 21 Laps are teaming up to adapt the work, which has been picked up by Warner Bros. in a competitive situation involving multiple offers.

Sculptor centers on a struggling New York artist named David Smith, who makes a deal with Death for the supernatural abilities to sculpt anything he wishes but at the cost of having less than a year to live. With time slowly ticking away, Smith sees that the path to success isn't easy to navigate as he tries to find his artistic voice and learn how to handle his powers. Things then get unexpectedly more complicated when he falls in love.

McCloud is the creator of 1980s comic Zot! and gained widespread artistic recognition for his instructive graphic novels Understanding Comics and Reinventing Comics. He spent five years making Sculptor, which was published in 2015 amid heavy fanfare. Sony picked up the rights with Scott Rudin attached to produce, but the rights recently reverted, with 21 Laps, the film-television banner behind Stranger Things, pouncing and developing its take with Cretton and Mitnick.

Mitnick will write the script with Cretton directing. Shawn Levy and Dan Cohen of 21 Laps will produce.

Warners' Niija Kuykendall and Rebecca Cho will be overseeing for the studio with Becca Edelman overseeing for 21 Laps. 

Sculptor reunites Cretton with Warners, for whom he is shooting his latest movie, the true-life legal drama Just Mercy, starring Michael B. Jordan and Jamie Foxx. His film breakout was the drama Short Term 12, and he last directed the Brie Larson drama The Glass Castle.

Mitnick's screen career includes The Giver, the adaptation of the acclaimed YA book by Lois Lowry, as well as The Current War, which starred Benedict Cumberbatch and Michael Shannon. He is currently writing The Hunchback of Notre Dame for Idris Elba to direct and star in for Netflix.

21 Laps is currently developing Warners' Sesame Street movie as well as working with Greg Berlanti to adapt the sci-fi teen musical Be More Chill.

Cretton is repped by WME and Stone Genow. Mitnick is repped by WME, Grandview and Sloane Offer. McCloud is repped by WME, Judy Hansen and Jackoway Tyerman.