Miller, Odd Lot explore legend of 'Buck Rogers'


Frank Miller and Odd Lot Entertainment, the creator and production company behind the upcoming comic-book adventure "The Spirit," are close to teaming again on the classic sci-fi property "Buck Rogers."

Odd Lot, the shingle run by Gigi Pritzker and Deborah Del Prete, is in negotiations to option the rights to "Rogers" from Nu Image/Millennium, which obtained those rights this year from the Dille Trust. Millennium is expected to get a credit on the movie but won't be involved in day-to-day production.

John Flint Dille, a friend of Miller's, operates the trust, which may have partly prompted rumors at the time of the Millennium acquisition that the comic auteur-turned-filmmaker might come aboard to direct. But Miller was not attached at the time; he only became involved when Odd Lot entered the picture.

Miller will write and direct his own big-screen take on the comic serial; while the creator has only begun to sketch ideas, it's expected to be a darker take, with many of Miller's signature visual elements and themes, such as corruption and redemption.

It's likely to be a priority project for Miller, though he has been mulling a "Sin City" sequel.

One of the first pop-culture vehicles to tackle the issue of space exploration, the story of Buck Rogers began life as a comic serial in the late 1920's and early '30s and has seen numerous film and television versions over the years.

ABC had a TV series in the '50s, and NBC produced a feature film and TV series in the late '70s and early '80s.

The party that controls the underlying rights has the ability to make any movie of television series off the property. At the moment, Odd Lot is planning only on a feature film.

Miller is the acclaimed writer and illustrator behind the graphic novel franchise "Sin City," which became a hit for the Weinstein Co. in 2004. He also is behind Warners' breakout "300." "The Spirit," which Lionsgate releases next week, examines the pulpy hero created by Miller mentor Will Eisner. (partialdiff)