The Incal: Taika Waititi Adapting Classic Jodorowsky SciFi Comic
The Incal, Alejandro Jodorowsky, and Mœbius' classic visionary Science Fiction graphic novel saga is going to be adapted into a movie by Taika Waititi. The writer-director has signed on to direct the first feature for Humanoids and Primer Entertainment. You should read The Incal before any TV or movie version shows up if you care about comics. That applies to any comic property, really. The Incal is one of the most original European Science Fiction sagas in the history of the genre, virtually the pinnacle of the Metal Hurlant style and aesthetic, with the added layer of Jodorowsky's wild combination of Jungian psychology, mythology, an existential philosophical journey that draws on Voltaire's Candide, Dante's Inferno and various texts, and Mœbius' beautifully precise line art that practically defines French Science Fiction comics.
The Incal is an epic space opera centered on shabby, down-on-his-luck P.I. John Difool, who happens upon a mystical artifact known as the Incal—an object of great power coveted by many factions across the galaxy. As Difool learns of the Incal's powers and purpose, he—along with a ragtag crew of unlikely cohorts—reluctantly embarks on what begins as an improbable mission to save the universe and slowly becomes a spiritual journey examining the duality and meaning of existence. The series is filled with Jodorowsky's lessons on Jungian psychology and self-actualization, the Buddhist elimination of ego to find true Self, the true meaning of Love, and selflessness. The hapless Difool is the audience surrogate and general goofball on the ultimate cosmic journey of self-discovery – the clue is in his name. The series also introduces Jodorowsky's hugely popular and tragic antihero, the Metabaron, who has since spun off into a long-running series of prequel graphic novels about his story and history. Again, you really should read the original comics before you see any TV or movie version. We'll be lucky if the adaptations capture the heady rush of madness and Crazy Big Ideas the original comics offer.
Waititi will also co-write the screenplay, Humanoids' first foray into film, with his frequent collaborator Jemaine Clement, with whom he co-created What We Do in the Shadows, and Peter Warren, writer of Ghost Team and The History of Us. They even released a slick video of the announcement.
Jodorowsky, himself a filmmaker and French artist Mœbius premiered the comic serial at the end of the 1970s, where it became the highest-selling sci-fi graphic novel in history. It serves as the foundation of the "Jodoverse," which encompasses bestselling subsequent comic book series including The Metabarons and Megalex, which were not drawn by Mœbius, who had an eventual falling out with Jodorowsky and has since passed on. Those spinoffs, prequels, and sequels may be explored in additional films at a later date.
"The films and graphic novels of Alejandro Jodorowsky have influenced me and so many others for so long," said Waititi. "I was stunned to be given the opportunity to bring his iconic characters to life, and I am grateful to Alejandro, Fabrice, and everyone at HUMANOIDS for trusting me to do so."
"When Humanoids' CEO Fabrice Giger introduced me to Taika Waititi's work, it became obvious to me that he was the one," said Jodorowsky. "I fully trust Taika's creativity to give THE INCAL a stunning take, intimate and at the same time of cosmic proportions."
Giger added, "It began as the adventures of a jackass named John Difool, and then it became something else—we called it THE INCAL—something that has transformed everything it's ever touched and continues to do so: its creators, the other artists who later became a part of John's journey, its publisher HUMANOIDS and myself in the process, countless readers, writers and directors around the world, and soon, I believe, the great Taika Waititi himself and everyone who looks to him for inspiration."
Humanoids' producing partner, Primer—led by David Jourdan—bought a stake in the publishing house in 2019 and brought in a multi-million-dollar development fund to partner on a slate. This fund has helped jumpstart the company's production ambitions, with a catalogue of IP by artists and writers including John Cassaday, Milo Manara, Mark Waid, and classic Science Fiction authors like Robert Silverberg, among others.
Humanoids will announce additional partnerships pertaining to The Incal's distribution and release at a later date.