After co-directing the surprise action sensation John Wick and doubling down as solo director of the impeccable sequel John Wick 2, Chad Stahelski is poised to launch a new franchise for Studio 8. Deadline reports that Stahelski has been tapped to direct an adaptation of Sandman Slim, the acclaimed fantasy book series by NYT bestselling author Richard Kadrey.
Studio 8 acquired the rights back in 2016, eyeing the nine-book series as a possible film franchise and What Happened to Monday writer Kerry Williamson is set to write the latest draft of the script. Kel Symons wrote a previous draft.
The story follows James “Sandman Silm” Stark, who Deadline describes as a “fast-talking, hard-boiled, supernatural vigilante” who escapes from hell to take revenge on the people who killed his girlfriend and the members of a magic circle who got him sent to hell in the first place… and after years of battling demons as a gladiator in hell, he packs a hell of a punch. So basically, this sounds like John Wick but with demons, vampires, and magicians, and that is highkey my shit. Can’t even play cool about it.
However, that’s not enough to get your attention the official Harper Collins page describes Sandman Slim as “a spellbinding, utterly remarkable tale of a vengeful magician/hitman’s return from hell is part H.P. Lovecraft, part Christopher Moore, part Jim Butcher, and totally, unabashedly dark, twisted, and hilarious.” And, William Gibson described it as a “dirty-ass masterpiece,” so if that’s not enough to get your attention, I don’t think we’re looking for the same thing in a movie.
Stahelski is also set to return for Lionsgate’s third John Wick movie, which is scheduled to arrive in theaters on May 17, 2019 and will direct the pilot episode for Starz’s upcoming Wick spinoff series, The Continental.