The Valiant Comics cinematic universe is slowly coming into focus, as The Hollywood Reporter brings word that the company has hired Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland, Gangster Squad) to direct their Archer & Armstrong movie. Terry Rossio (Pirates of the Caribbean franchise) is attached to write the film as an action comedy.
Created by Jim Shooter, Barry Windsor-Smith and Bob Layton in 1992 as part of the initial wave of Valiant heroes, Archer and Armstrong were the ideal buddy action duo. Obadiah Archer was a disciplined young teenage warrior naive in the ways of the world after being raised in a Buddhist monastery, while Armstrong (real name Aram) was a millenia-old drunken hedonist with enhanced abilities, a magic satchel and a knowledge of just about everything in the world. The original run (mostly drawn by Smith) lasted 26 issues, and was relaunched by Valiant in 2012 written by Fred Van Lente and illustrated by Clayton Henry.
When a development slate of Valiant movies were first announced in 2015, the Archer & Armstrong movie was announced with BenDavid Grabinski writing the script and the Sean Daniel Company (The Mummy) producing. Daniel is still attached to produce alongside Fleischer, Jason Brown and Valiant CEO and CCO Dinesh Shamdasani, with the project being developed independently before taking it out to studios.
It was also recently announced that Sony’s Bloodshot movie had added Dave Wilson of Blur Studios to direct, with Academy Award-nominated writer Eric Heisserer (Arrival, The Thing) penning the script. Heisserer is also writing another of the Sony/Valiant features, Harbinger. It was previously reported that Sony was hoping to develop two films in the respective Bloodshot and Harbinger franchises before crossing them over with a Harbinger War feature film, though it remains to be seen if those plans remain or will in fact materialize.