According to The Hollywood Reporter, Paramount Pictures may have stumbled upon a wellspring of untapped franchise potential. The studio has just made a deal with producer Steven Paul, who recently gained a majority interest in the Atlas Comics library. Paul and Paramount will join forces to turn several Atlas properties into feature films.
Paul is best known as a producer of both Nicolas Cage-led Ghost Rider films as well as 2017’s Ghost in the Shell adaptation. His first task in making this new venture a reality is assembling a writers’ room that will “develop and build out the universe of characters from the expansive Atlas library.” Leading this team of nine wordsmiths is Akiva Goldsman, who won an Oscar for writing A Beautiful Mind in 2001.
Goldsman is no stranger to comic book adaptations. He has a bit of a stigma attached to his name from writing 1997’s Batman & Robin. However, he’s managed to redeem himself in recent years thanks to his better-received work on DC Universe’s Titans, which he developed with Geoff Johns and Greg Berlanti. Goldsman is also a writer and producer on Star Trek: Discovery. He was previously part of the writers’ room tasked with plotting the future of Paramount’s Transformers series.
Atlas Comics was born from the remains of Timely Comics in the 1950s. Throughout this decade, it served as an early home for Captain America, the android Human Torch, and the Sub-Mariner. The company eventually evolved into Marvel Comics in 1961.
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Paramount is hoping to start production on the first Atlas-derived film in 2020 with an eye to release it in 2021. Apparently, the studio is also planning to start a tradition of releasing one Atlas movie each year after that. Paul announced the deal with Paramount at a press conference earlier this week, and he has bold intentions for the Atlas universe.
“We’re still counting the characters,” said Paul. His presentation reportedly included blown-up covers of issues featuring characters like Tiger-Man, Sgt. Stryker’s Death Squad, and Devilina. “Marvel has 4,700. I want to be up there.”
“What an opportunity that we have with the Atlas universe, which spans so many genres: superheroes, sci-fi, fantasy, supernatural, horror, creatures, vampires, cops, cowboys, soldiers,” added Goldsman. “The breadth of this material is extraordinary.”
Are you excited to see Atlas Comics characters make their way to the big screen? Which series should Paramount adapt first? Give us your impressions in the comment section below!