Lionsgate Captures Miller's 'Spirit'
Eisner adaptation now has filmmakers, financing and distribution
Producer and co-financer Odd Lot was selling the project at Cannes and the deal evolved into what the companies described as a "unique multi-picture co-financing, co-production and split rights arrangement."
Up first will be "The Spirit," set to be written and directed by Miller, red hot after the success of "Sin City" and "300."
"Lionsgate is proud and excited to join the team bringing Will Eisner's immortal 'The Spirit' to the big screen," say Lionsgate bigwigs Tom Ortenberg, Mike Paseornek and Peter Block. "With the 'Sin City' series, Frank Miller has proven to be as brilliant and original a filmmaker as he is a graphic novelist. His vision is perfectly matched to that of Eisner, and we believe 'The Spirit' will be a thrilling experience for comic book lovers and mass audiences alike."
Eisner's tale of a masked detective fighting crime in Central City premiered in 1940 and has been reprinted by DC Comics. It's considered one of the seminal works of comic book storytelling.
"Will Eisner's 'The Spirit' is a product of passion and dedication for me," Miller says in a statement. "Will was a dear friend, a mentor, and translating his vision to the screen will be a labor of love. I look forward to working with the people at Lionsgate, and to add to their lauded reputation for genre films."
Odd Lot originally announced the project last summer on the eve of San Diego's Comic-Con, where Miller did a formal presentation. Although the release announcing Lionsgate's participation makes it sound as if production on "The Spirit" is rapidly upcoming, it's unclear where Miller will fit the film with two possible sequels to "Sin City."