Do you ever feel something huge and incomprehensible looming over you? Something other people seem unaware of; yet you are unable to shake. It could be a passing mood; a quirk of brain chemistry; the way your mind interprets stress or trauma. As an adult we rationalise these thoughts. There are avenues apparent that allow us to discuss our fears and neuroses. For most people, it is possible to process these thoughts before they affect the reality around them.
As a child, however, that barrier between imagination and reality can be much less substantial. Fear and pain that seem insurmountable can transfigure into something else. They can become monsters. They can be giants. This is the focus of acclaimed 2008 comic series, I Kill Giants, which is currently being adapted by former Harry Potter producer Chris Columbus for Treehouse Pictures.
The comic, written by Joe Kelly and wonderfully illustrated by J. M. Kim Niimura, follows Barbara Thorson; a young, friendless girl struggling with the pressures of school. Obsessed with fantasy and science-fiction, Barbara’s isolation takes a worrying turn when she begins to express her belief that giants are coming to destroy mankind. As Barbara becomes more invested in her quest to battle the colossal adversaries, her grip on reality begins to slip.
Zoe Saldana (Guardians of the Galaxy, Star Trek) has joined the adaption as Mrs. Mollé, the school’s psychologist who attempts to help Barbara with both her internal and external struggles. She will be joining Madison Wolfe (True Detective), who will portray Barbara. The project will be the first directorial feature for Anders Walter, who won an academy award for his 2014 short, Helium.
The comic series, which won the 2013 Gaiman award, is a great example of young adult fiction that refuses to condescend to its audience; finding a graceful balance between riveting action and the social ramifications of mental instability. With a talented cast and veteran producer the film can only leave us with high expectations.