EXCLUSIVE: Quantum And Woody, an adaptation of the Valiant Entertainment comic that has Avengers: Infinity War helmers Anthony Russo and Joe Russo and Spy’s Mike Larocca attached to executive produce via their AGBO, is in early development at TBS, I understand. Ant-Man And The Wasp‘s Andrew Barrer and Gabriel Ferrari are writing the pilot for what could be a franchise series, though it’s early days.
Quantum And Woody is part of the Valiant Entertainment stable of comics which is owned by DMG Entertainment and remains one of the key superhero publishing troves not currently tied to a major studio. That could change as DMG is understood to be taking meetings around town for a bigger scenario deal.
Co-created by writer Christopher Priest and illustrator Mark Bright, Quantum And Woody was originally published in 1997 and draws inspiration from the characters played by Woody Harrelson and Wesley Snipes in 1992 comedy feature White Men Can’t Jump. The comics’ pair are adoptive brothers who come together, after years of estrangement, by the mysterious death of their father. In the course of investigating, they are accidentally imbued with powers.
In 2013 Valiant began publishing a re-imagined version of the characters, written by James Asmus with art by Tom Fowler. Joel McHale has previously been rumored to star in what would be a reteam for the Community alum and the Russos who were frequent directors and EPs of the Emmy nominated series, although this has not been confirmed.
Dan Mintz’s DMG took full control of Valiant, which boasts a library of more than 2,000 characters, in early 2018. DMG had previously pacted with Valiant back in 2015 to develop properties for features, television, publishing and licensing.
The plan from then was to integrate the Valiant IP into DMG, providing capital and filmmaking expertise to create feature franchises. Valiant is the third largest universe of superhero characters in entertainment, sitting alongside Warner Bros’ DC Comics and Disney’s Marvel. It includes X-O Manowar, Bloodshot, Harbinger, Shadowman, Archer & Armstrong, Ninjak, Faith and more.
Current Valiant projects in various stages include the Bloodshot movie starring Vin Diesel which goes into production this month at Sony. Sony made the deal on Bloodshot before DMG was involved in Valiant while Harbinger (and ultimately Bloodshot) became part of a five-film initiative between Sony, Valiant, DMG and Neil H Moritz’s Original Film in 2015. Sony further recently set scribe Maria Melnik to pen a live-action adaptation of Faith, the superhero genre’s first plus-size female heroine. Toby Jaffe and Moritz will produce that one via their Original Film banner with Mintz/DMG.
I also hear the Beverly Hills-based DMG is talking with potential partners with regard to the Valiant universe and financing and producing movies based on the IP. Scenarios include DMG pacting with a studio under a first-look or a development deal.
Superhero franchises are incredibly lucrative and studios are keen to harness the box office power they wield. That DMG owns the IP outright and has a track record in China makes the Valiant universe an extra attractive proposition. And because the Valiant comics began in the 90s, they were built to fit a multi-cultural world.