EXCLUSIVE: Post-apocalyptic comic series Marksmen is eyeing a jump to the screen via Benderspink and Benaroya Pictures, who are teaming to produce a feature adaptation of the action-thriller saga. Marksmen takes place in a dystopian future America where civil war over oil resources has left New San Diego as the last remaining bastion of peace and prosperity, protected by walls by the titular militant guards. Drake McCoy is the best of the Marksmen, who leads his small but skilled team as an invading army from the Lone Star State lays siege to their home in an attempt to steal the city’s energy technology.

It’s the latest comic book property to join the development slate at Benderspink, which optioned rights to Marksmen from Benaroya Publishing, who first issued the comic in 2011. The comic was developed in-house by the Kill Your Darlings and Margin Call company’s publishing arm and was created by Michael Benaroya, David Baxter and Dave Elliott with art by artist Javier Aranda. Michael Benaroya will produce the adaptation alongside Benderspink’s J.C. Spink, Chris Bender, and Jake Weiner. Producers are currently packaging the film as a tentpole-sized project.

Marksmen comic book movie“This comic sets up a classic scenario of a small elite force defending their city against a much larger but less skillful army. It’s a great scenario set in a fresh environment. We think it has tremendous potential,” commented Benaroya. Upcoming film projects at Benaroya include Werner Herzog’s Queen of the Desert and the Dave Eggers adaptation You Shall Know Our Velocity, while Stephen King adaptation Cell and the Ethan Hawke, Ed Harris, and Milla Jovovich starrer Cymbeline are in post.

Benderspink’s upcoming features include Universal sequel Ride Along 2, Millennium’s Criminal, New Line’s Vacation reboot, and horror comedy Zombeavers.