Studiocanal, Canal+ & Frank Miller (Sin City, 300, The Dark Knight Returns) are teaming up for a live-action series adaptation of Hugo Pratt's "Corto Maltese" graphic novel series, with Miller set as series creator, writer, and executive producer. First reported exclusively by Deadline Hollywood, Jemma Rodgers (The Railway Children Return) and Frank Miller Ink CEO Silenn Thomas are set to executive produce. Phil Tippett ("Star Wars" & "Jurassic Park" franchises) will oversee VFX. Studiocanal EVP Global Production Ron Halpern & Executive Managing Director TV Francoise Guyonnet will oversee on behalf of the studio. First launched in 1967, Pratt's daring sea captain Maltese was the focus of a series of early 20th Century adventures that blended fantasy with reality and had a huge influence on Miller.
"I first discovered Corto Maltese reading the books at Forbidden Planet in New York as a young man," Miller said. "Then, on my travels, I studied and discovered an edition at a newsstand in Rome. The artwork was so expressive and so bold that it leapt off the newsprint. It swept me away. It was full of magic and romantic adventure. Maltese is a rascal who could talk to the Gods. To me, it showed off the power of the comic, where language is not much of a barrier. I have been a Corto Maltese fan ever since. This is the hero's journey in its most classic form, and I couldn't be more honored to help bring into this series the romanticism, heroism, and underlying mysticism of Pratt's creation."
Patrizia Zanotti, a close collaborator of Pratt, had this to add: "Hugo Pratt appreciated Frank Miller's work from the very beginning, so much so that he published him in the Corto Maltese magazine in 1988. Pratt, like Miller, are students of American classic cartooning like Milton Caniff with their use of shadows, dramatic inks, and bold brushwork. Who better to reinterpret Hugo Pratt's world than Frank Miller after all the characters and worlds the legendary creator has brought to us?" Zanotti continued, "Pratt would be thrilled to see his character Corto Maltese revived through an author who has the extraordinary ability to carry on timeless myths introducing iconic characters to new generations. Pratt has said through one of his characters that 'nothing is written that cannot be rewritten.' I believe that no one else other than Frank Miller could interpret the creative impulse inherent in this phrase."