Directors Joe and Anthony Russo
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Credit: Getty Images / David M. Benett

The Russo Brothers announce new adaptations of Grimjack and Battle of the Planets

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Jul 19, 2019

Fresh off the success of Avengers: Endgame, director/producers Joe and Anthony Russo have revealed two new genre projects adapted from childhood favorites. The brothers announced during their spotlight panel in San Diego Comic-Con's Hall H on Friday that they're adapting the comic book series Grimjack and the Japanese anime Battle of the Planets as upcoming projects. 

The brothers will produce both projects through their AGBO Studios production company. Deadline reports that Grimjack is in development at Amazon under writer Kevin Murphy (Defiance) and Joe Russo noted during their Hall H panel that the brothers might take up directing duties on Battle of the Planets, depending on what form it takes. 

"If we were to direct it, we would direct it as a live-action film," Joe Russo said.

Battle of the Planets debuted in 1978, and became one of the first major anime series to reach American audiences. It follows a group of orphans who come together to form G-Force, a defense team tasked with guarding Earth from intergalactic threats. That project, which does not have a writer, is inspired by the Russos' childhood love of the animated series, which became a TV staple for them. 

"This was our favorite cartoon growing up," Joe Russo said. "I used to race home from school to watch this at 4:00."

Grimjack is a somewhat lesser-known property, but Joe Russo also noted that it was one of his favorite books as a child. Created by writer John Ostrander and artist Timothy Truman in 1983, the character (whose real name is John Gaunt) is a mercenary in a city known as Cynosure, a place where magic and technology are interwoven and various dimensions intertwine. Grimjack's title series began in 1984 and continued for 81 issues, and versions of the character have appeared in other stories as recently as 2011. 

There's no word yet on when we might see either project, but in the wake of their Marvel success, the Russo Brothers are very clearly keen on using their genre clout to resurrect some old favorites.

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