Variety reports that Lionsgate has acquired US and UK distribution rights to a live adaptation of the classic Will Eisner comic The Spirit. Frank Miller wrote the script and will direct.
The deal marks the start of a multipicture pact under which Lionsgate and Odd Lot Entertainment will co-finance and co-produce together. Odd Lot partners Gigi Pritzker and Deborah Del Prete are showing a finished script by Miller and will broker overseas territories during the Cannes Festival, which has just started this week.
I have to confess I’m more of a fan of Eisner’s later work such as A Contract with God than The Spirit, but it’s a series that’s grown on me down the years, and meeting Will at Raptus in Norway in 2003 was one of the highlights of my time in comics.
The Spirit originally ran from Sunday 2 June, 1940 until Sunday 5 October, 1952, as a weekly feature, created by Eisner.
Miller says “Will was a dear friend, a mentor, and translating his vision to the screen will be a labour of love.” Lionsgate Theatrical Films president Tom Ortenberg feels Frank Miller’s “vision is perfectly matched to that of Eisner.
Let’s hope so: while I’m personally enjoying Darwyn Cooke’s updating of the character, I’m aware the book has come in for a lot of flak in some quarters.