Warner Bros. Purchases Film Rights to Nate Simpson’s ‘Nonplayer’
An Image Comics series that ComicsAlliance previously described as “classic” is being eyed as a potential tent pole film for Warner Bros. Nonplayer, the in-progress miniseries written and lavishly illustrated by Nate Simpson, has had its film rights been picked up by the studio and will be developed by producers David Heyman (the Harry Potter franchise) and Roy Lee (The Departed, The Ring), according to Variety.Nonplayer is a splendidly illustrated science fiction/fantasy story about a brilliant young woman who chooses to spend every free moment in a luscious video game fantasy world that may be more than meets the eye. Although only one issue has been released so far and no set release date for the second (of six), Nonplayer has earned the praise of Geoff Darrow, Frank Quitely, Warren Ellis, Frank Cho, and the master himself, Moebius.
In conversation with ComicsAlliance back in March, Simpson confirmed his desire to see the world of Nonplayer realized on film, and addressed questions about how such a development may or may not impact his work on the comic book.
CA: Do you want Nonplayer to become a film?
NS: Absolutely. I fantasize all the time about who I’d cast and what music I’d use. I assume everybody does that.
CA: Would you prefer it to be animated or live-action?
NS: I suppose that depends on your definition of “animated.” Movies like Avatar really blur the lines between the two types of filmmaking. Honestly, I could see either approach working — if Pixar came to me with an offer, I would first dodge the flying pigs and then immediately sign on the dotted line. But then I see movies like Monsters, by Gareth Edwards, and that’s such a powerful, transporting experience. If you had access to actors and effects of that caliber, that would be pretty great, too. So I guess my answer is “I’d be happy with either, provided the people making it cared about it.” Regardless, I don’t think I’ll be forced to make that particular choice any time soon.
CA: Are you worried about backlash from hardcore comics people who feel like the film industry is ruining comics in some way, or might feel like you’re only doing this for a movie deal?
NS: I’m a little worried about all sorts of backlash from hardcore comics people. I don’t think I’ve got much of a chance with them to begin with, given the slowness with which I’ll be releasing the comic. But as far has having to choose between the comics and movie camps — I think that’s sort of a false choice. I got into this because I love exploring new worlds, and I’m happy to access those worlds in all sorts of ways, whether it’s through comics, illustrated books, films, or games. If everybody who drew a comic was resistant to making a film, we wouldn’t have classics like Akira and Nausicaa. I don’t plan on ever really choosing sides on this issue — Nonplayer could get picked up by a movie company tomorrow, and I’d still finish the comic. I want to see both versions.