J. Michael Straczynski’s ‘Rising Stars’ Optioned for the Big Screen By MGM
Get ready for a few more stars among the many superhero cinematic universes.
Deadline reports that Rising Stars, the late ’90s and early 2000s comic book mini-series by J. Michael Straczynski has been optioned by MGM, which will look to turn the property into a feature film. Here’s how Deadline describes the book:
Rising Stars follows a special group of people all linked to one extraordinary event, and how they change the world we know into something we only imagined. It offers a new world of superheroes, as 113 children who were in utero when a meteor hit their Illinois hometown were left with special powers. Some of them are being murdered, and when that happens, their powers switch to the remaining “specials,” some of whom want nothing to do with this superhero business.
I was working in a comic book store during the early days of Rising Stars, when Straczynski's name (he created the ’90s sci-fi series Babylon 5) made it a surprise best-seller. But then the book was plagued by publishing delays, and most readers, at least at our store, lost interest. (I know I did; until right now I couldn’t have told you with certainty whether Straczynski ever finished it or not.)
The series had some definite highlights, though, including an issue focusing on the murder of an invulnerable character that I would still rank as one of the best individual comics of its era. And Straczynski soon became a major figure in the comics world; he went on to write Supreme Power (a similar book to Rising Stars revisiting a dormant Marvel property, Squadron Supreme) and then The Amazing Spider-Man for many, mostly very good years. In the world of film and TV, Straczynski has recently written or co-written World War Z, Changeling, the first Thor, and worked as a writer and producer on the Wachowskis’ Sense8.
Straczynski will reportedly write and produce the Rising Stars adaptation for MGM. Given the premise and the large cast, it seems like a better fit for television than movies. Then again in the world of massive cinematic universes, Rising Stars has the potential to go very, very big.