Paramount Picks Up Comic Book Movie ‘Harbinger’ From Sony | Film News
Harbinger, the adaptation of a superhero comic published by Valiant Entertainment, has moved from Sony to Paramount. The project was initially going to be shot this summer, but is no longer on the fast track. The plan is for the project to have a short development process at Paramount before moving forward with the same creative team.
That means writer/director Justin Tipping and his co-writer Joshua Beirne-Golden, who worked off an original draft by Eric Heisserer (Arrival), are making the jump too. Also following the project to Paramount is producer Neal Moritz, who previously moved his first-look deal from Sony to Paramount in 2018.
Harbinger tells the story of a group of superpowered teens who rebel against the corporation that tried to harness their abilities for its own means. This studio move has several repercussions. Valiant, the comics publisher, is not tied to one studio, but did have its plans for its own cinematic universe.
They had hitched their wagon to Sony, where several titles of theirs had been set up. One was Bloodshot starring Vin Diesel, and Sony is hoping it starts a franchise when it hits cinemas in February 2020.
Harbinger would have been the second title, and would have connected to Bloodshot to tease an inevitable crossover that was likely to be based on the Harbinger Wars comic from 2013. However, the crossover and any cinematic universe are now unlikely to happen. Insiders have noted that Valiant now finds itself in a similar place to Marvel in the 90s, licensing characters to more than one studio.
It is noted however that Bloodshot is not considered an integral part of the “VCU” team. So it’s possible there’s a Paramount-only universe of Valiant heroes, but with no films yet released, we’re a long way from that.
They’d be smart to learn from the DCEU, who tried to emulate the MCU without having the patience nor the planning to pull it off. That led to Justice League becoming the most expensive box office bomb of all time.
We’ll see how much of an impact this has on both studios. Sony is now focusing on its MCU-less Spider-Man franchise and is also working on new Ghostbusters and Jumanji movies. Paramount is also continuing to build its own collection of franchises. The studio is about to begin filming on Snake Eyes, which it hopes revitalises the G.I. Joe IP.
But this news makes it clear that any superhero project is always going to be a major priority in Hollywood as long as the demand for them remains incredibly strong.