Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean’s graphic novel Violent Cases is getting a feature film adaptation with Ben Kingsley set to star. The project will be helmed by writer Mike Carey, director Colm McCarthy and producer Camille Gatin – who collectively make up the creative team behind The Girl With All the Gifts. This is not Carey’s first foray into the mind of Gaiman, having worked on adaptations of other books in The Sandman universe as well as Lucifer. Edmund Kingsley will also produce for Lakesville Productions with Camille Gatin and Colm McCarthy for Scary Monster as well as Carlos Enrique Cuscó and Ari Taboada for Foton Pictures.
The logline for Violent Cases describes it as “a journey into the mind of Neil Gaiman.” The hit graphic novel tells the story of a famous author who recounts fragmented childhood memories and visits to an osteopath, a doctor who treats the whole person rather than just a condition or disease they may have, that once worked for the infamous gangster Al Capone. Kingsley will be playing the role of the osteopath in the feature length adaptation, which according to its official description weaves “a dark and twisting tale about stories, our memory, violence and the ways we can’t escape our past.”
“I’m delighted to be working with this fantastic team on Violent Cases, which for me is about the power and importance of storytelling, about how we negotiate the shadows cast by the father figures in our lives and above all about the right of our inner child to be heard,” Kingsley said.
Possibly best known for his roles as the title character in 1982’s Gandhi or as Itzhak Stern in Schindler’s List alongside Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes, Kingsley is a part of the upcoming Netflix film The School for Good and Evil, which debuts on October 19. The Academy Award-winning actor has also appeared in a variety of films throughout the years such as Searching for Bobby Fischer, Sexy Beast, Hugo, Fifty Dead Men Walking and Shutter Island.
“Violent Cases is a wild, hallucinatory, yet thought provoking and emotional comic. It’s so exciting to build a film from this incredible, genre-defining work,” McCarthy said. Although Violent Cases was the first graphic novel Gaiman and McKean worked on, it’s not the first to be adapted for the screen. Netflix’s series The Sandman debuted earlier this year and received positive reception, but many characters from Gaiman’s graphic novels have appeared in other series or even received their own show, which is the case for Lucifer, starring Tom Ellis as the titular role. As one of the most notable writers of the last 40 years, it makes sense that even more adaptations of Gaiman’s work have made their way to the screen.
“As an aspiring writer back in the late ’80s reading Violent Cases was a revelation and a joy for me. Its darkness and playfulness defined a new approach to storytelling,” Carey said. “Thirty-five years on, it’s still unique, and bringing it across into a new medium feels like discovering it again for the first time. Neil Gaiman redefined serialized comics with The Sandman, but Violent Cases was his and Dave McKean’s early masterpiece. It’s thrilling to be introducing it to a new audience, and taking its visual lyricism into a new medium.”