Valiant and Sony to Launch Five-Picture Slate Culminating in HARBINGER WARS

Last month we reported on Valiant’s burgeoning partnership with Chinese financing/distribution group DMG to develop a slate of films based on the independent publisher’s comic book properties.

It looks as though those efforts are finally bearing fruit.

Today Valiant Entertainment announced that it would be partnering with Sony Entertainment to film and release a five-picture slate of films beginning with Bloodshot in 2017 and culminating in Harbinger Wars at a yet-to-be-determined date in the future.

Only two films in the slate have been officially announced thus far, with the aforementioned Bloodshot leading off, to be followed quickly by Harbinger. While no creative team has been announced for the Harbinger film, Valiant has already tapped top-level Hollywood talent for Bloodshot, with Kick-Ass 2 screenwriter Jeff Wadlow developing the script and John Wick directors David Leitch and Chad Stahelski set to direct. The final piece in the puzzle is Matthew Vaughn, who seems set for a Kevin Feige-esque role in the Valiant Cinematic Universe as Executive Producer for the slate.

The latest announcement by Valiant further crowds the already-packed comic book movie market, bringing the total number of films for the next five years to a staggering thirty-one movies.

Can Valiant compete? Which other properties deserve the cinematic treatment? Let us know in the comments!

[FROM THE OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE]

Valiant Entertainment and Sony Pictures today announced a deal to bring two of Valiant’s award-winning comic book superhero franchises—BLOODSHOT and HARBINGER—to the big screen over the course of five feature films that will culminate in the shared universe crossover film, HARBINGER WARS.

 

BLOODSHOT, arriving in theaters in 2017, will kick off the five-picture plan leading to HARBINGER WARS and will be directed by David Leitch & Chad Stahelski (John Wick) from a script by Jeff Wadlow (Kick Ass 2) and Eric Heisserer (Story of Your Life). Neal H. Moritz and Toby Jaffe from Original Film (The Fast and the Furious franchise) and Dinesh Shamdasani from Valiant Entertainment will produce the film. Matthew Vaughn and Jason Kothari will serve as executive producers.

 

HARBINGER will follow shortly thereafter from a script by Eric Heisserer (Story of Your Life). Sony and Valiant remain tight-lipped about potential directors. Neal H. Moritz and Toby Jaffe from Original Film (The Fast and the Furious franchise) and Dinesh Shamdasani from Valiant Entertainment will produce.

 

Both BLOODSHOT and HARBINGER will be followed by sequels before the title characters confront each other head on in HARBINGER WARS—a motion picture directly inspired by Valiant’s critically acclaimed 2013 comic book crossover of the same name. Andrea Giannetti will oversee the five-picture HARBINGER WARS initiative for Sony Pictures.

 

“Valiant is one of the most successful publishers in the history of comics, and Neal is one of the best action producers in the business today. This is a formidable partnership that will bring two incredibly commercial franchises with global appeal together on the big screen,” said Sony Entertainment Motion Picture Group President Doug Belgrad. “The long-term plan that begins with BLOODSHOT will be a considerable priority for Sony in the months and years to come.”

 

Brought back from the dead and infused with cutting-edge nanotechnology by private security contractor Project Rising Spirit, Bloodshot is a nearly unstoppable killing machine equipped with enhanced strength, speed, endurance, and healing. Created by Kevin VanHook, Don Perlin, and Bob Layton in 1992, Bloodshot is one of the most successful new comic book characters of the past two decades with more than 100 issues published and lifetime sales of more than 7 million copies in multiple languages around the world. After returning with a sold-out new series in 2012, Bloodshot’s latest chapter recently began with the release of Bloodshot Reborn #1 in April—the first issue of a new series from New York Times best-selling writer Jeff Lemire and artist Mico Suayan.

 

Centered on telekinetic teenage runaway Peter Stanchek and his recruitment into the mysterious Harbinger Foundation by secretive CEO and philanthropist Toyo Harada, Harbinger was created by former Marvel Editor-in-Chief Jim Shooter and artist David Lapham in 1992. Having sold more than 5 million copies worldwide in multiple languages across more than 60 issues, Harbinger returned with a new series in 2012 to multiple sold-out printings and widespread critical acclaim.

 

Bloodshot and Harbinger collide in Harbinger Wars—Valiant’s 2013 crossover event from writers Joshua Dysart and Duane Swierczynski with art by Clayton Henry, Clayton Crain, and Pere Perez. Valiant’s first crossover of the modern era, Harbinger Wars would go on to become the year’s best-selling crossover event from an independent publisher and spawned multiple sold-out printings.

 

“Bloodshot and Harbinger are two of the great untapped franchises anywhere in comics,” said producer and founder of Original Film, Neal H. Moritz. “In partnership with Sony and Valiant, we look forward to building the next great generation of superhero films.”

 

“Sony Pictures and Neal Moritz are the ideal partners to bring the world of Bloodshot and Harbinger to life,” said Valiant CEO & Chief Creative Officer Dinesh Shamdasani. “They understand exactly what makes these characters tick and the exciting potential that they hold. These films are just the first step in partnership with Sony to bring Valiant’s biggest heroes to new audiences worldwide.”

 

Celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2015, Valiant is one of the most successful comic book publishing companies in the history of the medium with more than 81 million comics sold and a library of more than 2,000 distinct characters. Established by a brain trust of legendary comics creators, Valiant’s heroes and villains inhabit the largest independently owned superhero universe anywhere in comics. Re-established in 2005 as Valiant Entertainment, the company returned to great commercial and critical success in 2012, winning a Diamond Gem Award for Publisher of the Year and numerous industry awards and accolades. To date, Valiant’s titles consistently rate among the best reviewed in comics.

 

Valiant’s comic book universe—which includes the best-selling superheroes Bloodshot, Harbinger, X-O Manowar, Shadowman, and Archer & Armstrong, among many others—is characterized by a grounded, character-driven approach to storytelling. Its stories take place in a world only subtly removed from our own—one inspired by real-world science and inhabited by morally ambiguous heroes that often forgo capes and secret identities.

 

In March, Valiant announced that it partnered with Beijing-based entertainment company DMG for nine-figures of film financing capital for the production of theatrical films and television programs based on Valiant’s library of iconic superhero characters.

 

With over fifty films released, Neal Moritz’s worldwide box office gross exceeds $7 billion. His hits include: the Jump Street franchise, The Fast and The Furious franchise, I Am Legend, XXX, Click, Sweet Home Alabama, S.W.A.T., Battle: Los Angeles, and The Green Hornet

 

In addition to BLOODSHOT, HARBINGER, and HARBINGER WARS, Moritz also has several films in development with Sony Pictures, including Passengers, Christian the Lion, 23 Jump Street, Cliffhanger, Rockets Red Glare, and A Prophet.

Josh Epstein

Josh Epstein is the Publisher for the Capeless Crusader website. He’s a lifelong comic nerd, and “Superman” is the first word he ever read aloud. He is also an actor, singer, and resident of a real-world Smallville.

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