'Taken' Director Pierre Morel Boards 'The Blacksmith'

Kickstart Comics
'The Blacksmith'

'Source Code' writer Ben Ripley will adapt the graphic novel by Malik Evans and Richard Sparkman about a high-tech weapons expert on the run.

Taken director Pierre Morel has signed on to direct The Blacksmith, a new action film based on the graphic novel of the same name by Malik Evans and Richard Sparkman.

Ben Ripley (Source Code) will adapt the graphic novel for the screen, with Jon Shestack (Air Force One) producing together with Jason Netter (Wanted), and Jeremy Stein. Stuart Ford's AGC Studios will finance the project, with Ford executive producing alongside Samantha Shear and Bob Sobhani.

The "Blacksmith" of the title is Wes Loomis, a high-tech weapons expert for the spy community. When his secret lab is destroyed and his colleagues murdered, Wes must go on the run without his usual tools, forced to improvise in order to survive. His journey will take him to the dark heart of his profession. In the original graphic novel, the Blacksmith character is called Alex Malloy.

"Ben Ripley's terrific script introduces us to a highly original, new breed of tech-savvy action hero in Wes Loomis, and Pierre is the perfect director to bring this franchise to life," Ford said in a statement.

This is the second planned adaptation of The Blacksmith. Late last year, NBC put a series adaptation of the graphic novel in development, with an eye to producing a small-screen action series based on the book. That project has not yet been greenlit to series.

Morel was represented in the negotiations by UTA, which will co-represent U.S. distribution rights to The Blacksmith with AGC, which will handle international sales rights and introduce the project to buyers at the American Film Market in Santa Monica next month.

Production on The Blacksmith is set to start next year.