Marvel Cinematic Universe, you say? DC Extended Universe on your mind? Well, Valiant Entertainment is trying very hard to make sure that in the next few years the Valiant cinematic universe is just as much a part of the pop culture conversation. The latest step they have taken is hiring director Reginald Hudlin to helm their in-the-works movie adaptation of their cult favorite comic Shadowman.
As reported by Comicbook.com, Valiant is moving ahead with Shadowman in-house before taking the project out to studios. Bringing on Reginald Hudlin is a big step in that process. If you don’t know the name, you’re probably not alone. Hudlin has primarily been known as a TV director, but his movie Marshall is coming out later this year. And back in the early 90s, he did direct a little cult movie called House Party with iconic rappers Kid ‘n Play. He also directed Eddie Murphy in Boomerang, as well as the SNL spin-off movie The Ladies Man. As for those of you who aren’t familiar with the Shadowman comics, here is a synopsis of the series courtesy of Valiant.
“There are a million dreams in the Big Easy. But now its worst nightmare is about to come true. As the forces of darkness prepare to claim New Orleans as their own, Jack Boniface must accept the legacy he was born to uphold. As Shadowman, Jack is about to become the only thing that stands between his city and an army of unspeakable monstrosities from beyond the night. But what is the true cost of the Shadowman‘s otherworldly power? And can Jack master his new abilities before Master Darque brings down the wall between reality and the darkness of the dimension known as Deadside?”
If you haven’t read Shadowman but you have seen Marvel’s Doctor Strange, which outperformed expectations at the box office by bringing in $677 million worldwide, then you may be thinking that this sounds vaguely familiar. That’s because it does bare similarities to Doctor Strange, in general terms. Man becomes empowered and has to protect the world using something resembling magic from other dimensional forces. In Doctor Strange, Dormammu hailed from the Dark Dimension and, as you can see from that synopsis, the bad guys come from the Deadside. It’s hard to ignore where there are parallels, which might explain why Shadowman is one of the properties being developed for the big screen over at Valiant.
Valiant has quite a few projects in various stages of development. The most notable is the five-picture-deal they have at Sony to bring Bloodshot and Harbinger to the big screen, which will culminate in a Harbinger Wars crossover movie. Archer & Armstrong is also being developed by Valiant with Terry Rossio and Zombieland director Ruben Fleischer. It was also recently announced that Avengers: Infinity War directors Joe Russo and Anthony Russo are developing Quantum and Woody for television. Lastly, Valiant Digital is currently shooting a web series, Ninjak vs. The Valiant Universe. So they are dipping their toes in every platform at this point.
Since there isn’t even a studio attached, there is no word on when Shadowman is going to hit theaters, if it even gets that far. Reginald Hudlin will be rewriting the Shadowman screenplay with Salem showrunner Adam Simon. The current draft was written by J. Michael Straczynski (World War Z, Thor), who is still involved as an executive producer.