Warren Ellis' Comic 'Red' Also Being Adapted
by Alex Billington
June 12, 2008
Famed comic book author Warren Ellis is finally getting his big break in Hollywood. Late last week we announced that Ellis' Ocean was being adapted by Warner Brothers. Now Ellis' comic series Red is heading to the big screen, too. Published by WildStorm / DC Comics, Red is a brutal comic that focuses on a CIA killer named Paul Moses. Brothers Erich Hoeber and Jon Hoeber, who also wrote the adaptations of Whiteout and Alice, are writing the screenplay for Red. Summit Entertainment, of Memento, The Brothers Grimm, and the upcoming Twilight, is developing the adaptation with Transformers and G.I. Joe producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura on board to produce as well.
The three-issue comic series, first published in 2003, tells the story of a former black-ops CIA agent now living a quiet life in retirement until the day a high-tech assassin shows up to kill him. With his secret identity compromised and his love interest in danger, the man must reassemble his old team to figure out who is out to get them. The Hoebers' take involves the idea of an older operative set in his ways having to contend with younger and more fit agents as well as modern techniques and technology. Although DC Comics is owned by Warner Brothers, it took nearly two years to get the production rights for Red out of their grasp. Let's hope the Hoeber Brothers have written a great script.
As if all too often the case, I'm not familiar with this comic, but it sounds good. At this point, almost anything written by anyone who's a big name in comics and has a cool concept will probably sound like a cool adaptation. I actually think the concept could make for a deeper story than expected. I really just hope that the Hoeber Brothers focus on the drama and tragedy of the situation instead of humor. I could easily see Red becoming a comedy about the lunatics of an old CIA agent trying to get back in the groove with younger agents and new technology. But really, that would turn out terrible, and I hope that's not the direction they chose to go in. Will definitely be a project to keep my eye on.