Development roundup: Michael B. Jordan in Failsafe, Annabelle sequel finds director, Fox grabs graphic novel about dinosaur

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Apr 30, 2018

Here are the latest news items from the world of Hollywood development:

Super-hot actor Michael B. Jordan, coming off his acclaimed turn as Eric Killmonger in the record-shattering Black Panther, will reteam with that film's co-writer, Joe Robert Cole, in a sci-fi project for Netflix called Failsafe. According to Deadline, Jordan is producing the film, which Cole is adapting from a Vault Comics title of the same name, with "potential" for Jordan to star in it as well.

Not related to the nuclear thriller Fail-Safe (which was filmed in 1964 and remade as a live TV event in 2000), Failsafe is based on a comic book by F.J. DeSanto, Todd Farmer and Federico Dallochio that centers on John Ravane, a government agent whose job was hunting down the rogue nanotech-enhanced super soldiers created through the Insurgence Program. But 10 years later, Ravane realizes that the program never ended and sleeper agents are being activated around the country in a period of social unrest.

Jordan will be seen next month in HBO's Fahrenheit 451, while Netflix is ramping up its sci-fi content considerably. Once the script is delivered, he'll decide whether Failsafe will be his next starring vehicle in the genre.


The universe that James Wan created around his hit horror movie The Conjuring continues to expand: following the success of Annabelle: Creation, a new feature based around the demonic little doll is moving forward and landed a director.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, that director is Gary Dauberman, who will make his debut behind the camera on the untitled Annabelle sequel but has been an integral part of the franchise all along. Dauberman wrote the original Annabelle in 2014, as well as Annabelle: Creation, and also penned the screenplay for the upcoming Conjuring spin-off The Nun. He also co-wrote a little horror picture from last year called It (which you may have heard of), and has been a co-writer on It: Chapter 2 as well.

Dauberman will write the new Annabelle movie in addition to directing it, while James Wan's company Atomic Monster will produce it, as the only successful cinematic universe that doesn't feature Avengers and Guardians in it keeps rolling along. The release date is set for July 3, 2019.


Finally, Deadline reports that 20th Century Fox has secured the film rights to Bolivar, a graphic novel published by Archaia (a division of BOOM! Studios) last year in which a little girl living in New York City discovers that her next door neighbor is the world's last living dinosaur.

The first graphic novel by author and illustrator Sean Rubin, Bolivar was nominated for an Eisner Award for Best Children's Comic and was acclaimed by both NPR and the New York Public Library as one of the best children's books of 2017.

Producing the project is 21 Laps, the Shawn Levy-headed company responsible for films like Arrival and TV shows like Stranger Things. Levy and his partner Dan Levine will produce Bolivar alongside BOOM! Studios principals Ross Richie and Stephen Christy. 20th Century Fox purchased a minority stake in BOOM! last year, making this all nice and cozy since Fox is developing other BOOM! projects as well.