Universal in Negotiations to Pick Up 'War Heroes' Comic Book Project (Exclusive)

Thomas Dean Donnelly and Joshua Oppenheimer are negotiating to write the script, which would be produced by Michael De Luca, Chris Morgan and Dana Brunetti.

Universal is in negotiations to pick up War Heroes, the project based on the Mark Millar-Tony Harris comic book. Thomas Dean Donnelly and Joshua Oppenheimer, who are writing Doctor Strange for Marvel, are in negotiations to write the script.

Michael De Luca, Chris Morgan and Trigger Street’s Dana Brunetti are attached to produce.

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The project comes to Universal after Columbia, where it was originally set up in 2008 with De Luca producing, let the rights lapse.

The story centers on a U.S. military experimental program developed in light of dwindling enlistments and the expanding war on terrorism that gives ordinary soldiers superpowers. When a rogue group of the super-soldiers breaks off to form a criminal enterprise, one hero rises from their ranks to prevent catastrophic results.

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Jeff Kirschenbaum, who oversaw Wanted, Universal’s 2008 adaptation of another Millar comic, heard the project was being untethered and, being a fan of Millar's work, acted quickly. Creative executive Jay Polidoro will oversee the project for the studio.

Millar and Harris are serving as executive producers.

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War Heroes continues the De Luca and Brunetti partnership that began with The Social Network. The two are also working on Captain Phillips, going into production in the new year with Tom Hanks starring and Paul Greengrass directing, as well as ESPN: Those Guys Have All the Fun, set up at Fox.

For Morgan, the writer of the third, fourth and fifth installments of Universal’s Fast and the Furious franchise, the new project falls under his recently-signed first look-deal with the studio.

Donnelly and Oppenheimer worked on Columbia's video game adaptation Uncharted: Drake's Fortune as well as Voltron, set up Relativity. They are repped by WME, 3 Arts Entertainment and attorney Karl Austen.

Millar, whose comics Superior and The Secret Service are in development with writer-director Matthew Vaughn, is repped by CAA and attorney Harris Miller. Harris is repped by Illuminati Entertainment and Miller.