As far as Hollywood is concerned, Mark Millar is the comic writer of the moment. Features based on his Kick-Ass and Wanted have turned a head or two (and inspired sequels), and Millar is even hoping to crack the directors’ guild himself. No surprise, then, that 20th Century Fox has acquired the screen rights to Nemesis, the latest from Millar as drawn by Steve McNiven; Tony Scott is attached to direct. In case this is your first introduction to the comic, Nemesis asks the question, “What if the smartest, toughest costumed bad ass in the world was totally evil?” The answer — or at the very least, more details about the project — can be found after the break.
Here’s the official comic description from Marvel:
Civil War? Nothing. Kick-Ass? A warmup. What if the smartest, toughest costumed bad ass in the world was totally evil? Meet Nemesis. He’s systematically been destroying the lives of every police chief in Asia, and he’s now set his sights on Washington, DC. Between you and me, the police don’t have a chance.
Civil War was the previous comic teaming of Millar and McNiven, in which any U.S. citizen with superhuman abilities was required to register with the federal government and undergo proper training. According to Bleeding Cool, Civil War was not “nothing,” but rather “a high point in sales for recent superhero comic books.”
Amid all the promotional lingo, that synopsis leaves me wanting, so here’s a less aggressive synopsis via Deadline:
Nemesis focuses on Matt Anderson, a billionaire genius who’s the world’s greatest fighter, bent on avenging the death of his beloved parents. The twist is, they were villains and he is also a bad guy, a costumed vigilante who travels the world, picking off top cops. He returns to D.C. to launch a campaign of terror against Blake Morrow, the police chief who captured the caped vigilante’s parents.
It sounds like Nemesis fall in line with the rest of Millar’s work: a simple conceit that focuses on the interaction between the traditional depiction of the comic book superhero/villain and the rules of the real world. Could be a fun, high concept actioner.
With Scott attached, there should be an extended wait before Nemesis gets in front of cameras. Three other film are contending to be Scott’s next project:
- The Associate, a John Grisham adaptation The Associate with Shia LaBeouf at the lead
- Potsdamer Platz, set to star Mickey Rourke, Javier Bardem, Christopher Walken, and Johnny Hallyday
- Hell’s Angels, a biopic in which Mickey Rourke would play Sonny Barger, founder of the notorious biker gang
Millar is absolutely over the moon that Scott is on board. In the forums at Millar World, he wrote the following:
The man who shot Maverick in Top Gun, Bruce in the Last Boy Scout, yelled action for Will Smith in Enemy of the State, directed Denzel in Man on Fire (one of the finest revenge movies ever made), had Tarantino rework Hackman’s dialogue in Crimson Tide and gave me Deneuve’s naughtiest performance in The Hunger is directing our movie. Oh, AND he did True Romance, for my money the best of all the Tarantino flicks. Tony Scott: I can’t even pretend to be cool about this.
There’s plenty more gushing in the post, where Millar also mentions that a potential screenwriter wrote one of his five favorite movies of all time, then promises the actor Scott wants for the lead will “blow your socks off.” So check back in the coming months for all kinds of hyperbolic updates on the movie — just don’t wear your best pair of socks.