Jake Gyllenhaal is set to star in Prophet, a World War II period piece adapted from the comic book series of the same name by Rob Liefeld. He will be teaming up with Extraction filmmaker Sam Hargrave and Studio 8 to bring the comic series to life. The film is set to be written by Marc Guggenheim, known for his role as a writer and creator of some of the TV shows in The CW‘s Arrowverse.
Gyllenhaal will play the lead character known as John Prophet, a homeless and desperate man experimented on by the Germans in the dying days of the Second World War. These experiments were meant to turn him into a supersoldier who only ever had the drive to kill, sort of the opposite side of the Captain America coin. This rampage that he was meant to be sent on was stopped with a last-minute change of heart by one of the scientists that were experimenting on him, who put Prophet into a cryosleep that he awakened from years later. The movie will follow Prophet as he awakens in 1965, where his daughter has grown to resent him and the KGB is pursuing him to use him as the basis for their own supersoldiers.
Both Gyllenhaal and Hargrave have a history with the superhero genre, with Gyllenhaal recently playing the villain Mysterio in 2019’s Spider-Man: Far From Home, while Hargrave worked in stunts with Marvel Studios starting with Captain America: The Winter Soldier. He made his transition to directing not for a superhero movie (although starring Thor himself, Chris Hemsworth), but for the highly popular Netflix action film Extraction, which is poised to get a sequel on the streamer.
Prophet made his first appearance in 1992 in Image Comics‘ Youngblood series before getting his own run of comics starting in 1993. The original series ran until 2000 and was revived in 2012 and took John Prophet to the far future. This run lasted until 2016, with the story of Prophet ending with a series called Prophet: Earth War that ran through 2016.
This also isn’t the first time that a Prophet film is being attempted as a project was planned all the way back during the series’ original run in 1995, though that film never saw much in the way of development. The idea of adapting the character went dormant until Studio 8 acquired the rights to Prophet in 2018, which is where we are now.
“It’s been a goal of ours to work with Jake and Sam for quite some time, so we’re very excited to finally be collaborating with them on this unique, action-packed genre film,” said Jeff Robinov, Studio 8 CEO, in a statement. “I’m looking forward to seeing what they envision for bringing this story to life — a story we’re sure will stand out in the comic book world as a powerful, emotionally charged and visually distinctive film.” Robinov and Liefield will produce the project along with Studio 8’s John Graham, Prime Universe Films’ Adrian Askarieh, and Brooklyn Weaver.
The Prophet adaptation does not yet have a release window, though Studio 8 is currently working on other projects, including an adaptation of another comic series in Black from Black Mask Studios.