Skybound Entertainment Enters First-Look Deal With Universal
His Image Comics publishing imprint, Skybound Entertainment, has signed a two-year first-look deal with Universal Pictures, according to The Hollywood Reporter. That means Universal has first dibs on adapting any Skybound project for film, including Kirkman's own work on titles such as Invincible and The Astounding Wolf-Man, and the work of other creators, such as Justin Jordan and Matteo Scalera's Dead Body Road and Joshua Williamson and Davide Gianfelice's Ghosted.
Here's what Kirkman had to say about the deal:
In high school I watched Army of Darkness pretty much every night before bed, so I’ve seen that Universal logo steering around the planet we call home about a thousand times. The idea of producing movies that will bear that logo is just unbelievably awesome. We couldn’t find better partners than the team at Universal. I believe this partnership is going to help [The Walking Dead Executive Producer] David [Alpert] and I achieve all the goals we set out to accomplish when we founded Skybound five years ago.
Here's the weird part, though: A lot of Kirkman's comics are already in development as TV projects. His book Outcast is being prepped for a 10-episode run at Cinemax and Thief of Thieves is in development at AMC. And of course, there are going to be two Walking Dead shows at AMC. Another Skybound project, Clone by David Schulner and Juan Jose Ryp, is being developed at SyFy.
One might hope that means that the Universal deal is good news for other creators who work under the Skybound banner. Or maybe it means an Invincible movie is in the cards.
Then again, it might not mean much at all. Boom Studios' first-look deal with 20th Century Fox seemingly hasn't yielded a ton of results yet, and a Dark Horse first-look deal with Universal led to exactly one movie: R.I.P.D., which flopped.
Whatever the outcome, don't expect this deal to lead to a movie adaptation of The Walking Dead any time soon. Universal isn't eyeing the TV juggernaut as part of the deal in the early going.