A big-screen adaptation of Harbinger is getting shuffled around the studio system.
The Valiant Entertainment comic, which follows a group of superpowered teens rebelling against the evil corporation trying to capitalize on their abilities, is no longer in development at Sony. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the project has moved to Paramount, though the film's creative team will remain intact.
The film was being fast-tracked by Sony, with production slated to start sometime this fall. Though no roles had been cast, Dylan O'Brien and Noah Centino were both reportedly being considered. Now, Paramount, director/co-writer Justin Tipping, and producer Neal Moritz will pump the brakes a bit as the film gets re-developed. (Tipping and Joshua Beirne-Golden wrote the current script, based on the original draft by Arrival's Eric Heisserer.)
However, the news may also serve as something of a... harbinger. After all, Sony is still planning to make a Bloodshot film with Vin Diesel, another character from Valiant's catalog. The initial plan was for Harbinger to tie-in directly to the events of Bloodshot, which would've led to a crossover event based on the 2013 series Harbinger Wars — effectively creating a new shared universe, the "VCU," as THR refers to it.
While Bloodshot is still on track with a February 2020 release date, it reportedly won’t lead to the shared universe that Sony had originally planned. It's also being reported that Bloodshot isn't seen as much of an integral character to the larger Valiant universe, so it's possible a revised VCU could live on at Paramount.
This news comes just weeks after Sony had a much-publicized falling out with Disney over their shared custody of Spider-Man. So perhaps Sony is hoping that Bloodshot and Spider-Man will both be able to carry a franchise.
This also means that Valiant finds itself in a similar position as Marvel did years before it dominated the box office, as its characters are now split up and licensed by different, competing studios. Given that this is an era where every studio is hoping to replicate the MCU's formula (and success), which includes both Sony and Paramount, splitting up characters between studios likely isn't making that any easier. Unless Disney buys out both studios, of course (we kid, kind of).
SYFY WIRE has reached out to Sony and Paramount for clarification, and will update this article with any additional information.