David Slade Attached To Coward

Adapted from Ed Brubaker's graphic novel

Even though he’s busy developing the new Daredevil reboot for Fox, David Slade has also found time to become attached to another comics-based property, this time agreeing to direct a take on Ed Brubaker’s graphic novel Coward.

Brubaker himself (who coincidentally has written for Daredevil in the past) is writing the adaptation of the title, which forms part of the Criminal series he created with artist Sean Phillips for Marvel’s Icon imprint.

Coward is the first in a series of six linked stories and focuses on Leo, a man who spends his days planning heists in a world of cops, robbers, pickpockets and bad guys. "Coward was just a great modern story," Slade tells 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."

But if the idea of a man who deals with the darkness while trying not to get absorbed himself sounds cinematically familiar, the writer is already ahead of you: "If Ryan Gosling hadn't already been in Drive, he'd be perfect for the role of Leo," Brubaker says. "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."

Hunting Lane Films has the option on the first two stories, so if Coward reaches the screen and finds success, expect more outings to follow.

Slade, meanwhile, also has vamp-toned The Last Voyage Of The Demeter slowly crossing the development sea, but it’s been stuck in a whirlpool for a while now.