Fox, Warners light up Oni's comic 'Smoke'


Warner Bros. has acquired "Billy Smoke," an upcoming comic from Oni Press, and is developing the project as a vehicle for Matthew Fox, who is in negotiations to star.

Basil Iwanyk's Thunder Road is producing with Oni's Eric Gitter, who is producing through the company's film arm, Closed on Mondays Entertainment.

The story centers on an elite hit-man who is nearly killed during a botched job. He realizes that his only way to find redemption is to rid the world of all assassins.

The comic book series, written by B. Clay Moore and illustrated by Eric Kim, will be published by Oni in 2009. Moore's books have a knack of getting snapped up by Hollywood, with his comic "Leading Man," another Oni title, being developed at Universal and his "Hawaiian Dick" set up at New Line.

Oni's Peter Schwerin is exec producing "Smoke."

Warners' Matt Reilly shepherds the project at the studio.

Publisher Oni is emerging as major player in Hollywood's obsession with comics and has set up numerous titles all over town. Its first production, "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World," is prepping in Toronto for a fall start.

Fox (ABC's "Lost") is repped by ICM and Management 360. (partialdiff)