Hellboy and Watchmen Producer Lloyd Levin Options Matt Wagner's Mage Comic Book
08.04.10 by BJSprecher
Thanks to Hollywood's current love affair with adapting comic book properties, one of the great independent comic book series of the '80s may gain new life in the form of a live-action movie. According to Variety, Lloyd Levin, the producer behind such successful comic-to-movie adaptations as Hellboy and Watchmen, has acquired the rights to Matt Wagner's 15-part Mage comic book story arc, "The Hero Discovered."
Published by Comico from February 1984 to December 1986, "The Hero Discovered" story was a sort of modern retelling of the legend of Camelot — the protagonist, Kevin Matchstick (King Arthur), meets a wizard named Mirth (Merlin), discovers that he has superpowers, and gains a super-powered baseball bat (Excalibur) as he quests to defeat the evil Umbra Sprite. After the demise of Comico, the series went into limbo until Wagner could regain the rights to his creation. A follow-up series, Mage: The Hero Defined, was published by Image Comics in the '90s, but it failed to take hold with readers and the third series, Mage: The Hero Denied, has yet to see publication.
Mage had previously been in development at Spyglass, with Zack Snyder (Watchmen) attached to direct, but the project never took off. Levin, who is financing the development and production of Mage, said that he is very eager to get the project off of the ground.
It has always been a favorite book of mine. It's one of the great untapped comic books from the '80s renaissance that also spawned Watchmen and Batman: Dark Knight.
Wagner said that he is pleased that Levin is taking on Mage because of how faithful the producer's previous comic book adaptations have been to the original comic books that inspired them.
It's a great that Lloyd is taking on this material because his approach is to capture the essence of the original source material. The timing is good, too, because in the past, [filmmakers] tried to fix the material. Now they try to adhere to the material.
Levin is producing Mage with Andrew Cosby. A writer is currently being sought to adapt the series for the screen.