Taika Waititi is making the most of his moment in the sun. The filmmaker, who has multiple projects in various stages of development, will direct an adaptation of Alejandro Jodorowsky and Mœbius’ graphic novel The Incal, per Deadline.
Waititi will co-write the screenplay with his regular collaborator Jemaine Clement and Peter Warren. Jodorowsky and Mœbius collaborated decades ago, on their unrealized adaptation of Frank Herbert’s science-fiction novel Dune. In fact, The Incal expands on the concepts they first created while working together on that project. The comic book was published in installments between 1980 and 1988 and centers around an intergalactic private eye named John Difool, who together with a ragtag group gets caught up in a grand space opera and goes on a mission to save the universe.
The Incal marks the film debut of publisher Humanoids, whose executives said that the firm has rejected several Hollywood offers over the years. A first draft of the script is expected by the end of the year, after which they will shop the project around town. No studio or streamer is currently attached.
Humanoids CEO Fabrice Giger said in a statement:
“It began as the adventures of a jackass named John Difool, and then it became something else—we called it THE INCAL—something that has transformed everything it’s ever touched and continues to do so: its creators, the other artists who later became a part of John’s journey, its publisher HUMANOIDS and myself in the process, countless readers, writers and directors around the world, and soon, I believe, the great Taika Waititi himself and everyone who looks to him for inspiration.”
Waititi got Jodorowsky’s blessing before signing on to the project. He said in a statement:
“The films and graphic novels of Alejandro Jodorowsky have influenced me and so many others for so long. I was stunned to be given the opportunity to bring his iconic characters to life and I am grateful to Alejandro, Fabrice and everyone at Humanoids for trusting me to do so.”
“When Humanoids’ CEO Fabrice Giger introduced me to Taika Waititi’s work, it became obvious to me that he was the one,” said Jodorowsky. “I fully trust Taika’s creativity to give The Incal a stunning take, intimate and at the same time of cosmic proportions.”
Waititi, who after a string of acclaimed New Zealand movies made a splashy Hollywood debut with Thor: Ragnarok, has since directed the Oscar-winning World War II satire Jojo Rabbit and is currently awaiting the release of his sports drama Next Goal Wins. He is also working on his new Marvel movie, Thor: Love and Thunder, and serves as an executive producer on two FX series, Reservation Dogs and What We Do In The Shadows. Waititi will also star as Blackbeard in the upcoming HBO Max series Our Flag Means Death, and after directing episodes of The Mandalorian, will expand his involvement with the Star Wars franchise with a standalone feature. In addition to all this, he is also developing a Flash Gordon movie, among other projects.