The director of Casino Royale, Martin Campbell, has been tapped by Gale Anne Hurd’s Valhalla Motion Pictures to direct a film adaptation of the graphic novel Sebastian X. The production company is currently flying high as the force behind TV ratings winner The Walking Dead, and has moved to expand its slate with the novel, which is written by Michelangelo La Neve, and drawn by Stuart Immonen.
With Campbell in the director’s chair, the script will be written by Bill Marsilii (Déjà vu). The project brings together Gale Anne Hurd and Phillip Kobylanski from Valhalla, Nicholas Chartier and Craig J. Flores from Voltage (Dallas Buyers Club), and Pierre Spengler and Fabrice Giger from Humanoids – the publishing company behind the source material. The story set out in the graphic novel sees a top law enforcement officer suffer a near fatal injury, after which he is implanted with the memory of an infamous terrorist. He is then tasked with infiltrating the violent group in order to prevent their next attack.
If this all sounds a bit familiar, that’s because the plot synopsis is almost the exact reverse of the Ariel Vroman project currently in development, titled Criminal. That film will apparently see a convict implanted with the knowledge and skills of a dead CIA agent, so that he can finish the covert mission. Is the announcement of Sebastian X an early warning of an impending spate of mind-swap films – in the same vein as the wave of body-swap comedies we endured a few years back? If so, it will at least be mildly interesting to see how many variations on that theme Hollywood can come up with.
While there is no indication yet as to whom the filmmakers may be interested in casting for Sebastian X, names in the mix for Criminal include Kevin Costner, Gary Oldman and Alice Eve – which sets the bar quite high. With an accomplished director now on board for the graphic novel adaptation, however, we should be hearing more details about this project soon.