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‘Conan’ Director Marcus Nispel Creates Comic Book Series ‘The Chosen’

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Marcus Nispel, whose Conan the Barbarian reboot opens today, has made a deal with Liquid Comics to launch the comic book series The Chosen. The plotline involves a Detroit kid who seems an unlikely candidate but who is the latest incarnate of an Eastern spiritual master whose tradition goes back generations.  The teen’s awakening to these asweom powers that have been refined over a century’s worth of incarnations, begin to manifest themselves and take him on a journey from the Detroit streets to the underground gangland of Mumbai. Nispel created the storyling with Liquid co-founders Gotham Chopra and Sharad Devarajan. It’s based on an original movie treatment that Nispel has been developing to direct. The three-issue comic series will launch in February.

“I like movies that turn into graphic novels and graphic novels that turn into movies,” Nispel said in a statement. “Everything I direct starts with illustrations, and the pictures tell the story.”

Said Chopra: “Marcus’ vision of a muscled up Kung Fu has been something I’ve loved since the moment he first told me the story. The Master-Apprentice narrative from King Arthur to John Connor is a formula that works and with Marcus onboard something wildly creative is emerging.”

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‘Conan The Barbarian’ Helmer Marcus Nispel To Next Direct ‘Backmask’

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Conan the Barbarian helmer Marcus Nispel will next direct Backmask, a $10 million film that will begin shooting this summer. It’s based on an idea by Nispel, whose recent films include The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Friday the 13th. Kirsten Elms is writing the script. Nispel is keeping the plot close to his vest, allowing only that it involves paranoia, possession and the paranormal. The film will be produced by Steven Schneider, one of the architects behind the Paranormal Activity films as well as the haunted kid hit Insidious and the upcoming Barry Levinson-directed eco-thriller The Bay.

Voltage Pictures’ Nicolas Chartier will unveil the title at Cannes this week, where he’ll broker international territories, while WME Global’s Graham Taylor will handle North American sales. The film is being funded by 1821′s Paris Latsis and Terry Dougas, who’ll produce with Schneider and Nispel. The filmmaker is repped by WME, while Elms is repped by Gersh and Generate.

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WME Signs ‘Conan’ Director Marcus Nispel

By | Friday March 18, 2011 @ 5:20pm PDT
Mike Fleming

Director Marcus Nispel has signed with WME. He had been with CAA. Nispel most recently directed Conan the Barbarian, the reboot of the Robert E. Howard-created character that will be distributed by Lionsgate with Jason Momoa playing the title character. Nispel, a top-notch director of commercials and videos, also directed The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Pathfinder and Friday the 13th.

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Will Dr. Strange Be Marvel’s First Superhero To Fly Under the Disney Banner?

Mike Fleming

dr20strangeEXCLUSIVE: Marvel Studios has hired Conan scribes Thomas Donnelly and Joshua Oppenheimer to write Dr. Strange, marking forward progress on a long-gestating superhero property which will likely be among the first Marvel films generated under the Disney banner.  Aside from Conan–the Marcus Nispel-directed Lionsgate film that stars Jason Momoa–Donnelly and Oppenheimer also scripted a live action adaptation of the vidgame Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune for Sony and producer Chuck Roven, and they wrote a draft of the Jon Favreau-directed Cowboys and Aliens for DreamWorks/Universal.

Originated in 1963 by Stan Lee and artist Steve Ditko, Dr. Strange was a self-centered New York surgeon robbed of his touch after a car accident. After a stint as a wandering derelict, he found his way to a healer in the Himalayas, where he learned to tap into psychic powers to battle evil wizards and other wrongdoers. His mind is his weapon, rather than the brute force that distinguish most memorable Marvel heroes.

Dr. Strange has had a long strange journey to the screen that included stints at Savoy Pictures, Columbia Pictures, Dimension Films and Paramount–with a parade of writers and directors that included Bob Gale, Wes Craven, David Goyer, Stephen Norrington and Guillermo del Toro. Marvel finally got the rights  and brought the property back into the fold.

Marvel Studios has four more films committed to be distributed through Paramount (including Iron-Man 3). Those will include Thor and The First Avenger: Captain America, with the last to likely be … Read More »

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