Grim 'Reaper' lands at Xingu

Project based on upcoming graphic novel

LONDON -- Trudie Styler's Xingu Films has acquired film rights to "American Reaper," the upcoming graphic novel created by Pat Mills and Clint Langley under their Repeat Offenders banner.

Styler and Alex Francis will produce for Xingu ("Moon," "A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints"), with Repeat Offenders' Jeremy Davis executive producing.

The story is set in a future where identity theft leads to victims having their minds erased and replaced by those of the elderly rich seeking a second youth or by criminals and terrorists with more sinister motives. A team of special agents, known as Reapers, are formed to track down and terminate those responsible.

Said Styler, "It's rare for us to sign up to a project based on just a proposal, but the opportunity to work with proven talent like Pat and Clint from such an early stage, on a project with so much potential, was just too good to pass up."

Neither cast nor director are attached, but Francis said the targeted budget will be $50 million-plus. "I can't see it being made for less," he said.

Mills, who will write the screen adaptation, has helped to create a string of hit graphic novels, including "Judge Dredd" and "Marshal Law." Langley, who is known for his innovative use of computer art imagery, has been his regular collaborator since 1991.

Repeat Offenders was formed to develop graphic novel concepts with big-screen potential by Mills, Langley and Davis, who also heads U.K. DVD label Brightspark.