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SYFY WIRE Marc Guggenheim

'Arrow' alum Marc Guggenheim adapting espionage graphic novel 'Too Dead to Die' for Universal

Simon Cross, a super-spy relic of the 1980s, is coming to the big screen.

By Josh Weiss
Too Dead to Die: A Simon Cross Thriller; Marc Guggenheim

Marc Guggenheim is bringing his talents to Universal Pictures. The Hollywood Reporter confirms the studio has tapped the Arrowverse veteran to adapt his own espionage graphic novel, Too Dead to Die, into a feature-length screenplay.

Published by Image Comics late last year, the 120-page publication (illustrated by Howard Chaykin) revolves around Simon Cross, a retired super-spy who worked on behalf of the U.S. government in the 1980s. Upon learning that he has a daughter, however, Simon leaves his quiet life behind for one last adventure. In addition to writing the script, Guggenheim will serve as an executive producer. A director has yet to be announced.

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Kelly McCormick, David Leitch, and Guy Danella are attached as producers under their 87North banner, which currently enjoys a first-look deal at Universal. The company's recent collaborations with the studio include Violent Night and the upcoming Fall Guy.

Confirming the Too Dead to Die news on his Substack, Guggenheim underscored his professional ties to Danella:

"Guy and I worked together on Prophet back when he was with Studio 8 and I sent him Too Dead To Die when he moved over to 87North. He’s the one who helped me craft the perfect pitch to Universal and delivered out A-list movie star to play the lead. He’s also been extremely brilliant and instrumental in the development of the script. I rarely, if ever, sing the praises of someone giving me notes, but his always, without fail, make the thing better. And today is an appropriate day for all this news to come out because I’m sending Guy the next draft of the screenplay as soon as I get it back from my proofreader."

"Too Dead To Die is one of those ideas I’ve been thinking about for years before the Covid quarantine gave me the opportunity to actually write it. I started off writing 'on spec' without any particular artist in mind," the writer said in a statement in fall 2022 when the title was first announced by Image. "But 10 pages in, I realized that all the images I was seeing in my head were illustrated by Howard, whom I had the good fortune to collaborate with on Blade and Wolverine. I was writing with Howard in mind without realizing it. Fortunately, Howard was amenable to coming aboard and I love how he’s brought Simon’s story to life. It’s very exciting to be getting Too Dead To Die out into the world after all this time.”

“Few things delight me more, professionally, at least, than collaborating with Marc Guggenheim," added Chaykin. "I had a great time drawing this Simon Cross adventure, and I can only hope every reader can share that delight."

Looking for more action and adventure? Films like Violent Night, Elysium and Upgrade are all streaming on Peacock.