Tom Hardy's taking a chance on Agent Graves and his '100 Bullets'
Hands down, this is the best comic-book-movie news of the year.
Tom Hardy has got to be thinking about how the rest of his career looks. There's no question that he'll have one. He's a remarkable actor. He's had an uneasy relationship with the press, but he's not the first nor the last talented performer to feel that way. I honestly don't care if he gives interviews or doesn't as long as he continues picking strong filmmakers to collaborate with and keeps giving smart, challenging performances.
Just looking at his two recent "spends most of the film in a car" movies, "Locke" and "Mad Max: Fury Road," it's obvious that Hardy's not going to get easily pigeonholed. He's too interesting, too willing to bend or break his own public image for the sake of his own entertainment. The idea of him producing as well as acting now makes me doubly curious about his taste and what it is he's going to fight to get made.
The news today that he's signing on with New Line to bring "100 Bullets" to the screen is thrilling. I love the comic by Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso. It's visually ravishing, but it's also just great pulp storytelling with big rich characters. It ran for a finite number of issues, and it turned out to be both a great showcase for anthology storytelling and one large beautiful narrative as well.
It's a smart idea for Warner to sign over the rights for all the Vertigo titles that are part of the DC library to New Line, so while there can be co-operation between the two divisions, it allows Warner and New Line to each establish a branded voice for the titles they're supervising.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt is still working to develop "Sandman," and for the first time, I'm entirely angst-free about the notion of someone turning Neil Gaiman's sprawling comic masterpiece into a feature film. I have faith that they are serious about getting it right, and I am curious to see how far off the reservation New Line lets these movies go.
Borys Kit wrote that the specifics of the adaptation are being closely guarded, but that the general plan is to be faithful to the comic. I'm really curious what the script by Chris Borrelli did with the source, and if Tom Hardy's interested in playing Agent Graves, the puppetmaster who makes the entire series happen.
For those who haven't read it, it is a series of interconnected stories in which Agent Graves offers a stranger a gun that is untraceable, 100 rounds of ammo that cannot be traced either, and the name and address of someone who did something terrible to them in the past. It is a great simple moral trigger for all sorts of stories, and the bigger picture is pretty great as well.
A big part of deciding what kind of movie this is will rest in the hiring of a director, and I hope they get someone who has their own voice, who will bring something bold to the table. If they do, this has the potential to be enormously exciting over an entire series of films.
Hardy's plenty busy in the meantime, with "Mad Max: Fury Road" hitting digital platforms this week in the US, with "Revenant" set for release at the end of the year, and with "Legend," his star turn as the Krays, two of London's most infamous gangsters, which I hope to see at the Toronto Film Festival.