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The Hollywood Reporter brings word that the long-gestating film version of Donny Cates and Geoff Shaw's acclaimed God Country is finally happening with Sweet Tooth co-showrunner Jim Mickle at the helm (his involvement was first confirmed over the summer by Deadline). This isn't Mickle's first feature-length rodeo at Netflix — he previously wrote and directed 2019's decades-spanning time travel mystery-thriller, In the Shadow of the Moon.
Originally published by Image Comics in 2017, God Country takes place in a West Texas town where Emmett Quinlan, an old man with dementia, gets a new lease on life when a tornado gifts him with a magical sword that rejuvenates his body and mind. There's no time to relax, though, because he's now the only person capable of fending off strange monsters that have been lured to the Lone Star state.
"More news to come, but we’re super excited to be teaming up with Netflix for this crazy ass magical Texas sword movie!" Cates, who is penning the screenplay, wrote on Instagram. During an interview with ComicsAlliance in 2016, the writer admitted that the book took inspiration from "a kind of horrific medical event I went through a few years back."
"Anyone who’s had a brush with their own mortality can attest to the kind of feelings regarding life and death and family and legacy that it can dredge up," Cates explained. "And around that same time my brother had a baby! So in a very short time I was presented with my own mortality followed by this amazing new life that had my last name on it."
To get the Texas locale just right, Cates and Shaw took a trip to West Texas, visiting a town called Marathon.
"Texas is a primary character for this story — in particular, the Quinlan estate. It's filled with sagebrush, cacti, dust, and history," the illustrator also said in 2016. "It's a place you would believe a family has lived for generations, old and textured. On our trip I took loads of photos to make sure this place we were depicting felt authentic. We really wanted the supernatural elements to at once feel totally out of place, and oddly right at home."
Mickle and Linda Moran will produce the movie under their Nightshade production banner. Mary Parent and Ali Mendes (of Legendary Entertainment) and Lee Kramer and Jon Kramer (of AfterShock Media) are also producers.
God Country is the second Image property to take shape at Netflix in recent memory. In November, the company ordered a television series adaptation based on Scott Snyder and Tony Daniel's post-apocalyptic thriller comic title, Nocterra.