Ryan Coogler Black Panther
More info i
Credit: Marvel Studios/Disney

WIRE Buzz: Ryan Coogler monster hunting with Bitter Root; Treasure Island movie sets sail; more

Contributed by
Oct 2, 2019, 9:30 PM EDT

Ryan Coogler has just landed another hot comics property. The Black Panther director is going outside the Marvel Cinematic Universe to bring critically-acclaimed monster-hunting comics sensation Bitter Root off the printed page and onto the big screen.

Deadline reports that Coogler has signed on with Legendary Entertainment to co-produce a movie adaptation of the Image Comics fast-seller, which follows a family of monster hunters as they gear back up during the 1920s Harlem Renaissance to tackle “an unimaginable evil that descends upon New York City.” Coogler’s wife, Zinzi Evans, and Space Jam 2 executive producer Sev Ohanian are also on board as co-producers.

The new movie, which adapts the David F. Walker, Sanford Greene, and Chuck Brown-created comic for the screen, will tell the story of the Sangerye family, descended from a long line of gifted monster hunters. 

Bitter Root No 1 cover

Credit: Image Comics

“For generations, the Sangeryes have hunted and cured those infected by a supernatural force that feeds off the prejudice of the era, transforming human beings into hideous monsters,” Deadline reports. “But their heyday has faded and with most of the family dead, and the surviving Sangeryes at odds between saving or killing these creatures, the remaining Sangeryes must overcome the wounds of the past in the hopes of thwarting the invasion.”

The print version of Bitter Root lit up the graphic novel scene, selling out its first issue so quickly that it required a second run only two days after its initial release. The comic also was nominated this year for both an Eisner Award for Best New Series, as well as a Ringo award for Best Series. There’s no early word on whether Coogler or another director will helm the project (Coogler’s already at work on Black Panther 2), nor on casting or a release date, so stay tuned.

Seaward, ho! A new movie adaptation of seafaring classic Treasure Island reportedly is in the works, and though details are still light, it’s being guided by How to Train Your Dragon director Dean DeBlois. 

Deadline reports that DeBlois has signed on with Universal Pictures to bring Robert Louis Stevenson's 1883 novel to life. He'll be working off a script from Beauty and the Beast writer Evan Spiliotopoulos, with story input from DeBlois himself. Though he's already been nominated for a pair of Oscars for animation, DeBlois is going live-action for Treasure Island. However, with the film just beginning development, it's not expected to be his live-action directorial debut; that would be the recently announced Micronauts movie slated for June 4, 2021.

Like Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean, Treasure Island treads creative waters that hold all kinds of potential to veer into fantastical territory — even though it’s not yet clear whether that’s the approach DeBlois will be taking with this movie. Numerous adaptations (including SYFY’s own 2012 event series starring Eddie Izzard as Long John Silver) have reimagined the classic over the years, with varying degrees of fantasy and special effects thrown into the mix. 

One of the book’s most famous lines served as a standout introduction between Ryan Gosling’s K and Harrison Ford’s Deckard in Blade Runner 2049, with Deckard showing off his reading chops by quoting straight from the book: “Many is the night I dream of cheese — toasted, mostly.” Though there’s no release date set yet, we can’t wait to see how DeBlois’ new version picks up on that and other famous lines from Stevenson’s classic.

Ever since Stanley Kubrick’s masterful 1980 adaptation of Steven King’s The Shining, we haven’t been able to get the Overlook Hotel out of our horror-stricken heads — and neither has Danny Torrance. 

Now Doctor Sleep director Mike Flanagan and King himself have teamed up to offer a cool featurette that goes behind the scenes of the upcoming movie sequel, and some of the new footage includes our first in-character look at Roger Dale Floyd, the young actor who’ll be playing Danny in flashback scenes against Ewan McGregor’s fully-grown adult version.

Warner Bros NL on Youtube

Danny’s lifelong trauma from the fateful events of the first movie finds McGregor’s adult character (who now goes by “Dan”) ignoring his supernatural “shine” gift and staving off bad memories with tons and tons of alcohol. But, as King points out in the clip, “One of the things that I wanted to see was a man at the end of his rope. You can’t really recover until you finally reach your bottom, and I wanted to see that in Dan on the screen.”

Floyd definitely looks the part, which hopefully will make Torrance’s inevitable return to the Overlook all the more effective. We’ll know for sure starting Nov. 8, when Doctor Sleep arrives in theaters. Redrum!