Orphan Writer Targets Last Man Standing

Heavy Metal comic heads screenwards

David Fincher, Robert Rodriguez and rights-holder Kevin Eastman have all struggled in recent years to get a new portmanteau Heavy Metal movie up and running. But a break-out, stand-alone title from the famous sci-fi-and-violence-and-boobs anthology comic looks to be heading for a film adaptation, in the form of Last Man Standing.

The buzz started at last year's Comic-Con, where Daniel LuVisi's Last Man Standing graphic novel, two years in the making, sold out its entire print run in a little over two hours. Paramount were quick to grab themselves an option, and it's now fallen to David Leslie Johnson (Orphan, Wrath Of The Titans, The Walking Dead) to hammer the material into screenplay shape. LuVisi gets to stay on-hand as a producer.

Nothing to do with Bruce Willis ducking and weaving during Prohibition, Last Man Standing: Killbook Of A Bounty Hunter is set 600 years in the future, and involves a kick-ass covert operative named Gabriel, running missions for a paramilitary group called Armtech. He becomes a celebrity hero after playing an integral part in a war against Mars that Earth wins, but he's then framed for an act of terrorism and spends nine years in clink, before escaping and embarking on the obligatory Quest For Revenge.

If the story sounds generic, the world it's set in is an intricate one: the graphic novel is presented as an enormous scrapbook of literature and data detailing the universe's politics, main players and technology. A giant sandpit for Johnson to play in, in other words, and one that Paramount hopes will run and run: Variety reports plans for "a multi-platform franchise property"...