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Gyllenhaal will star as John Prophet, a man conscripted by Germans near the end of World War II and subjected to scientific experiments that gave him superhuman strength. Hargrave will direct the film, which is based on Rob Liefeld’s comic books. Marc Guggenheim, the scribe known for his work on The CW’s Arrowverse TV shows, is penning the script.
In the film, John Prophet volunteers for a German experiment near the end of World War II in order to feed his family. After a bombing buries him alive and traps him underground for 20 years, he reawakens in 1965, where things are not great for Prophet. The world has moved on without him, his daughter resents him, and KGB agents are after him to create super-soldiers from his blood.
“It’s been a goal of ours to work with Jake and Sam for quite some time, so we’re very excited to finally be collaborating with them on this unique, action-packed genre film,” Studio 8 CEO Jeff Robinov said in a statement. “I’m looking forward to seeing what they envision for bringing this story to life — a story we’re sure will stand out in the comic book world as a powerful, emotionally charged and visually distinctive film.”
Robinov produces along with Studio 8’s John Graham, Prime Universe Films’ Adrian Askarieh, Liefield and Brooklyn Weaver.
Gyllenhaal has experience in the comic book space, having played the villain Mysterio in 2019’s Spider-Man: Far From Home. He recently unveiled the Netflix thriller The Guilty, and is an Oscar-nominated actor for 2005’s Brokeback Mountain.
Hargrave came up in the world of stunts, working on Marvel Studio’s films from Captain America: The Winter Soldier to Avengers: Endgame. He jumped to directing last year with Chris Hemsworth’s inventive action film Extraction, which was a major hit for Netflix and instantly made Hargrave an in-demand filmmaker. The streaming service quickly greenlit a sequel, which Hargrave is directing.
Liefeld introduced Prophet in the pages of the Image Comics series Youngblood before the character headlined his own title in 1993. He could be described as the anti-Captain America — a DNA-enhanced super-soldier from the World War II era who awakens in our time after being put in cryogenic freeze for a future mission. Unfortunately, he was not supposed to wake until years down the road, making Prophet a fish out of water, spending his time in search of a mission that does not exist.
Studio 8, which Robinov launched in 2014, is currently in production on Hypnotic, starring Ben Affleck and directed by Robert Rodriguez. The studio is also developing Nosferatu, financed by Focus and New Regency, as well as the Sony comedy Adulting. In the comic book space, Studio 8 is adapting Black, from publisher Black Mask Studios and acquired by Warner Bros.
Askarieh’s Prime Universe is prepping Just Cause, based on the best-selling video games and set up at Constantin Film.
Gyllenhaal is repped by WME and attorney Carlos Goodman. Hargrave is repped by WME and Goodman Genow Schenkman.
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