Brad Peyton is making an earth-shattering move into comic book movies. After helming San Andreas with The Rock himself, the helmer is teaming up with James Wan of The Conjuring 2 to direct a film adaptation of the graphic novel Malignant Man.
THR first reported the news, including the addition of producers Ross Richie and Stephen Christy from Boom! Studios. Zak Olkewicz, who co-produced the horror film Light’s Out with Wan, wrote an adaptation of the screenplay.
Wan created the Malignant Man comic for Boom! with writer Michael Alan Nelson (Hexed) and art by Piotr Kowalski. The graphic novel is a sci-fi thriller centered around Alan Gates, a man who’s seemingly dying from cancer. After accepting his fate, he discovers he’s not actually dying and the tumor within him is actually an otherworldly parasite that affords him mysterious powers. According to the Boom! description, he sets out to “fight against an evil army buried beneath society’s skin, all the while unlocking the secrets of his forgotten past.”
It’s seems like a dark and twisted story from the mind of one of Hollywood’s purveyors of such genre fair, and horror comics especially have been continuously tapped for material — notably with Preacher and The Walking Dead.
It’s unclear when production on Malignant Man will actually begin. Peyton is already directing San Andreas 2 with Dwayne Johnson, who will also feature in the director’s adaptation of the Rampage video game and the third Journey movie. Wan, meanwhile, is producing Mortal Kombat, the MacGyver TV series, a sequel to Annabelle, and the fourth Insidious movie, in addition to directing Jason Momoa in 2018’s Aquaman.
On the other hand, comic book properties are still hot commodities. While Fox continues to build its X-Men franchise with Deadpool 2, New Mutants, (possibly) X-Force, Gambit (whenever that happens), and whatever core storylines they’re cooking up, the studio also is releasing the sequel to Kingsman (also based on a comic book property) and the adaptation of Mark Millar’s Starlight.