Producer Neal H. Moritz and actor Vin Diesel have done a number of projects together over the years, but recently the duo have been working on Bloodshot, an adaptation of the 1992 Valiant Comics sci-fi superhero.
The film, written by Oscar-nominated scribe Eric Heisserer introduces Diesel as a cyborg named Bloodshot, an unstoppable assassin whose human memories were wiped clean in the lab experiment which created him.
Long-time collaborator of Tim Miller, Dave Wilson, will helm the project as his first feature.
Last week, the set of Bloodshot got a visit from co-creator of the character and former editor-in-chief of Valiant, Bob Layton. Deadline spoke with Layton about what he had learned about the new film, and his feelings on seeing his brainchild make the leap to the big screen:
“DEADLINE: Neal Moritz has got amazing mileage out of The Fast and The Furious brand. But at the same time, the identity of the Fast franchise has veered across the board in almost every way a franchise could — its cast, tone, directors, continuity and characters have all been subject to change. Is there any aspect of that you find concerning?
LAYTON: Having dealt with movie franchises like Iron Man and Ant-Man, which were also based on my original co-creations, I know that you’re dealing with a different audience than comic books readers. A lot of times, it really depends on the type of material you’re working with and whether it’s going to resonate with the regular, moviegoing audience, who are not “dyed-in-the-wool” hard-core comic fans.
And, people have been trying to convince Valiant to adapt Bloodshot for years, since the 1990s. Our opinion then, and I know this held true for [producer and former Valiant principal] Dinesh Shamdasani and the team that brought Valiant back as well, was a Bloodshot film shouldn’t be made unless it would be a top-notch, high-quality adaptation of the material. So, to your question, it wasn’t until Vin Diesel and Neal Moritz came on board that we knew that we had a team capable of doing justice to the character. It’s the opposite of concerning – it’s a great thing and definitely a coup for Valiant’s first feature. Dinesh involved me, early on, in the development process as a co-founder of the Valiant Universe. And I’ve seen firsthand just how closely he and Valiant shepherded this film along the way. This is the film we’ve always wanted to make and there’s a great team involved in every facet. This film has director Dave Wilson; Eric Heisserer, who wrote the script; and a stellar cast alongside Vin Diesel. That’s making all of this happen.
And I really have to sing the praises of Dave Wilson. He is an amazingly humble man. With [Bloodshot co-creator] Kevin VanHook and I, Wilson was incredibly conscientious towards us, allowing more access to the shoot than any other director I’ve worked with. He was so excited to meet us, very concerned that we approved of what he was doing. That’s rare behavior from a director. To find that they actually give a damn about the original source material? That was incredibly refreshing.”
You can read more of the interview here.
Bloodshot is set to hit cinemas in February 2020.