Ed Brubaker has proved himself one of the best comic book authors working today. Now he’s getting into the screenwriting game as Variety reports that he’ll adapt his stellar graphic novel Coward for Hunting Lane Films with David Slade (The Twilight Saga: Eclipse) attached to direct. Coward is the first in the series of Brubaker’s Criminal series, which is a collection of interconnection noir stories. The protagonist of Coward is Leo, “a master thief and heist planner lives in a world of hustlers, crooked cops, pickpockets and lowlifes.” The title refers to Leo’s perceived status as a coward because of his behavior on a botched heist.
Hit the jump for more on the project.
When it comes to potential casting, Brubaker tells Variety:
“If Ryan Gosling hadn’t already been in ‘Drive,’ he’d be perfect (for the role of Leo). It’s a good role for any actor; about a guy who’s afraid to do things because of what’s inside of him. It’s a heist story, partly — it’s a lot of different crime stories wrapped in one, but heist stories are always exciting if they’re pulled off correctly.”
The beauty of Coward is that it easily lends it self to a movie. The story isn’t too long, it’s got terrific pacing, and Brubaker should be adept at knowing what’s essential to the plot and what can be let go. Adaptations of his comics Incognito and Sleeper are also in development, but he’s not involved with the scripts at this point.
My only concern is Slade. He’s never come close to reaching the potential he showed in Hard Candy. His previous comic book adaptation, 30 Days of Night, was a disaster and Eclipse was a smart career move but the movie could have been done by any journeyman director. However, it did raise his profile and he’s also attached to helm Fox’s Daredevil reboot and the Dracula spinoff The Last Voyage of the Demeter, plus he was on the shortlist to direct The Wolverine, The Hunger Games, and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. I’m going to try to have hope for his work on Coward and take comfort in his comment to Variety:
“It harkens back to an era of crime stories where there’s really a gritty reality to it, but there’s a kind of underworld haze of noir. It’s not like we have to reinvent the material, to figure it out, because it already works.”