Sci-fi Sleeper moves forward, but writer stays out of it

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Dec 14, 2012, 3:54 PM EST

Ed Brubaker, whose graphic novel Sleeper is in development as a film by Tom Cruise and Sam Raimi, told a group of reporters that he is happy to let Hollywood handle the movie. Though comic writer Brubaker has written screenplays, including the upcoming film Angel of Death, he considers adapting his own comic above his pay grade.

"I've talked to the producers a lot, but, you know, [if] Tom Cruise is going to star in this thing, I've got comics to write," Brubaker said in a group interview last week in Universal City, Calif., where he was promoting Angel of Death. "I would love it if they make it, and I want to go visit and everything. I can't imagine on that level working with, like, Tom Cruise and Sam Raimi. I think I would actually feel daunted, and I'd prefer not to feel daunted. Plus, I know that movie's going to cost $100 million. Even if I wrote a draft, I'll be better off letting them hire a bunch of other writers and then send me scripts to fix."

Not to be confused with Woody Allen's futuristic comedy, Brubaker's Sleeper is a superpowered crime story. "Sleeper is a comic I did at Wildstorm that's going back into print this summer, a new special edition. Tom Cruise and Sam Raimi are setting it up at Warner Brothers right now. It's about a guy who is an undercover agent in a giant organization of supervillains, like Donnie Brasco, but he's a supervillain, but the only person who knows he's actually a good guy happens to be in a coma, so he's literally left out in the cold and has to actually become a bad guy to survive among them."

Cruise is set to play the undercover villain. "Having seen him in Collateral, I'm like, 'He could totally do it,'" Brubaker said.

Brubaker has not seen a script yet, but he has been told that it is on the fast track. "I don't think they've actually had a full script done yet," he said. "I know they're working on treatments right now. They have a screenwriter hired, I don't know, some guy who's like some really hot screenwriter who sold a spec to Ridley Scott and Leonardo DiCaprio last year [Brad Ingelsby]. I talked to a producer yesterday, actually, when I was down here, just to make sure it was still happening. He said, 'Oh, not only is it still happening, but it's even more still happening because Tom Cruise's Valkyrie did well.'"