Comic book adaptations seem to be taking over the world, but that doesn't mean that it's going to be nothing but superhero for as far as the eye can see [though there are going to be a lot of them]. More and more comics and graphic novels that have no connections to what most people traditionally think of when they think of comics are making their way to TV and movies. Violent Cases is one of those adaptations. The graphic novel by Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean was first published by Escape Books in 1987 in black and white though later editions did print it in color, and it looks like a big-screen adaptation is on the way. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Scary Monster, Lakesville Productions and Foton.Pictures have announced that a feature film is in development. Not only that, but there is already a team, including the creative team behind The Girl With All The Gifts, writer Mike Carey, director Colm McCarthy, producer Camille Gatin, and Sir Ben Kingsley, who has been cast as the lead.
"I'm delighted to be working with this fantastic team on Violent Cases, which for me is about the power and importance of storytelling, about how we negotiate the shadows cast by the father figures in our lives, and above all about the right of our inner child to be heard," said Kingsley in a statement.
Violent Cases Is Yet Another Gaiman Story That Is About Stories
Much like The Sandman, another of Gaiman's works, Violent Cases is a story about stories. Several people have said that Sandman wouldn't have worked as a movie because it was a story about stories, but Violent Cases is not nearly as long as Sandman is. There isn't as much that will have to be cut from the script since the original graphic novel is only 48 pages. Gaiman's official website describes the work as: "Set only in the memory of its author, this brilliant short story meanders through levels of recollection surrounding a childhood injury. After dislocating his arm, a young boy is taken to see a doctor – an aged osteopath who was once the doctor of legendary gangster Al Capone. Through studied observations and painstaking attempts at truthful recall, the author reconstructs his tattered memories of the events surrounding his meeting with the doctor and delves into the psychological complexities that emerged from the doctor's bizarre tales of Capone's life of crime." In many ways, that sort of idea lends itself to a lot of really interest ways to do structure and even non-linear storytelling. It doesn't sound like this is looking to be a massive blockbuster, so with a tight budget, the creative team could take some real risks here that a bigger project looking to recoup a budget north of $100+ couldn't.
"Violent Cases is a wild, hallucinatory, yet thought-provoking and emotional comic. It's so exciting to build a film from this incredible, genre-defining work," said McCarthy.
"As an aspiring writer back in the late '80s reading Violent Cases was a revelation and a joy for me," added Carey. "Its darkness and playfulness defined a new approach to storytelling. Thirty-five years on, it's still unique, and bringing it across into a new medium feels like discovering it again for the first time. Neil Gaiman redefined serialized comics with The Sandman, but Violent Cases was his and Dave McKean's early masterpiece. It's thrilling to be introducing it to a new audience and taking its visual lyricism into a new medium."
At the moment, we don't have any information about when Violent Cases will come out or even how it will be released. It doesn't specifically say that this will be a theatrical release, but they have an impressive creative team and a big star. If you've got this sort of pedigree attached to your project, you might as well swing for the fences.