It took Duncan Jones nearly a decade to follow up his masterful blue-collar astronaut flick, Moon, with the second installment in what he's always intended to be a loosely connected thematic trilogy. He doesn't plan on waiting nearly as long to release the final chapter — it just won't come as a movie. At least not at first.
While Moon was his feature debut, Jones had been dreaming on a different screenplay since the mid-aughts, but it proved too expensive to make at the time. After Moon, he made two other movies — Source Code and Warcraft — before he could get that initial idea off the ground. Mute, starring Alexander Skarsgard in near-future, neo-noir Berlin, debuted on Netflix last year, becoming the second part of his thematic trilogy. It was a triumph for Jones, but with Moon at Sony, making a unified trilogy became that much trickier. And with the movie business never more in flux, Jones is now focused on turning the final chapter into a graphic novel.
"The third one, I don't know if I'm going to get the chance to make it as a movie, but I absolutely wanted the third in this anthology to be out there," Jones tells SYFY WIRE. "It was always going to be a bigger project, a bigger film. I'm hoping that we get the chance to make it as a movie one day, but at the very least, those who are interested in seeing the anthology through in the three stories will be able to see it in the graphic novel version."
Jones is taking a novel approach to the graphic novel. Earlier this spring, he asked his Twitter followers to recommend different comics artists they liked, and then he commissioned several of them to draw sample pages derived from the script he had written for the unnamed third movie in his would-be trilogy. He cast a wide net, choosing artists with a broad range of art styles, and posted some of the results on Twitter earlier this week:
The experiment introduced the filmmaker to so many artists, in fact, that instead of choosing one of them, Jones decided to line up a larger roster and divvy up the work between them. Jones says he and a comics professional, whose identity he has yet to unveil, are almost done with the new comics version of the script, and when that's complete, the work with the artists will begin.
"The idea is to come up with a language of how do the main characters look and can we maintain a consistency of that throughout these different artists," Jones says, "and then still do an entire graphic novel, where we tell the one story, and we basically go from one artist to another after the location change or change in chapter."
Jones, who is also in development on a big-screen version of Rogue Trooper, a strip in the beloved British comic book 2000 AD, another one of his dream projects, says he's self-financing the development and initial creation of the trilogy's final chapter. Once that's done, he says, they will begin looking for a publisher to distribute the book.
"It's been really fun getting to work on this," he says, "and getting all these different people involved. It's really been good fun, getting to work these amazing people."