EXCLUSIVE: Women have already become staples of the superhero movie game, but now the genre will have its first plus-size female heroine. Sony Pictures is moving forward with a live action adaptation of the Valiant Comics superhero story Faith, and the studio has hired American Gods scribe Maria Melnik to write the film.
The hero is Faith Herbert, a jubilant, comics-and-science-fiction loving geek who also happens to have telekinetic superpowers. Toby Jaffe and Neal Moritz will produce via their Original Film banner with Dan Mintz of DMG Entertainment.
Sony Pictures made a 2015 deal with Valiant Entertainment that already has led to the Dave Wilson-directed Bloodshot, a hoped for franchise launch to star Vin Diesel alongside Baby Driver‘s Eiza Gonzalez, Outlander‘s Sam Heughan and Toby Kebbell. The hero ensemble Harbinger is also on the drawing board. Sony has made superheroes a priority, just setting Jared Leto and director Daniel Espinosa for the Spider-Man universe pic Morbius, with Tom Hardy starring as Venom.
Faith marks a step forward toward making spandex characters more inclusive, since the men are almost always well muscled and the women model thin. Unless she’s redrawn, Faith isn’t that. She made her debut in 1992 as a member of the Harbinger team and her accessibility made her popular enough to get her own comic book series. She is able to fly and has the ability to levitate other objects in her “companion field.” She also doesn’t brood like most superheroes; she’s a pretty effervescent young woman. The current comic series is written by Jody Houser with artwork by Francis Portela and Marguerite Sauvage and covers by Jelena Kevic-Djurdjevic. In this version, Faith moves to Los Angeles, takes on a secret identity as a reporter.
Melnik’s other credits include Sony’s The Maze, which is slated for a February release, as well as the Starz! series Counterpart, which stars J.K. Simmons. She also previously worked on the television series American Gods for Starz!
Melnik is represented by WME and LINK Entertainment.