The Valiant Comics cinematic universe just got one step closer to reality

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Sep 29, 2016, 6:32 PM EDT (Updated)

Look out, Marvel and DC: A new comics-based film franchise is coming to town.

According to The Wrap, Sony Pictures is moving forward in a big way with plans first announced last year to bring a Valiant Comics universe to the screen, based primarily on Harbinger and Bloodshot. The studio renewed its option on Harbinger last month and has Eric Heisserer -- who penned the upcoming and already acclaimed sci-fi film Arrival -- writing a script for the movie. The plan calls for two movies apiece for Harbinger and Bloodshot, with a fifth crossover effort possibly based on Harbinger Wars bringing both stories together.

Harbinger follows a superpowered teen named Peter Stanchek who is a Harbinger, a member of a superhuman race that has appeared in every single title published by Valiant. Bloodshot, meanwhile, is a former soldier with powers of regeneration and one billion nanites in his blood that help him to heal quickly, shape-shift and interact with technology. Although Bloodshot is nominally a hero, the plan is apparently to introduce him as a villain in the first Harbinger movie, after which he'll spin off into his own films.

The Bloodshot film will be directed by David Leitch and Chad Stahelski (John Wick), while a director has yet to be named for Harbinger. Sony initially planned to start rolling out the movies in late 2017 or early 2018, with Harbinger followed a year later by Bloodshot.

There are some 2,000 characters in the Valiant Universe, and Sony is said to already be looking at titles and characters like H.A.R.D. Corps, Livewire, Generation Zero and the popular Faith for inclusion in the first round of movies and beyond. Do you think the Valiant Cinematic Universe can emerge as a real competitor to the Marvel and DC ones?