Jason Mantzoukas to Write ‘Battling Boy’ Movie
Actor/writer Jason Mantzoukas has been tapped to write the screenplay for a Paramount/Plan B motion picture based on Battling Boy, the 2013 graphic novel by Paul Pope. You may best know Mantzoukas as an actor from The League, or his recurring roles on shows like Parks and Recreation and Transparent, or as a podcaster on How Did This Get Made? As a writer his credits include a couple of episodes of The League, as well as several episodes of Children's Hospital and, fascinatingly, the Ice Cube/Kevin Hart vehicle Ride Along (but not its upcoming sequel).
Battling Boy will be directed by Patrick Osborne, a Disney animator whose only previous directing credit is the animated short Feast. Reports say Battling Boy will feature a mix of animation and live action. I'm not sure how to interpret this, as the word being used is "animation" rather than "cgi." Perhaps the film will more closely follow the legacy of Who Framed Roger Rabbit than Sin City, which I'd generally call a plus. It will be interesting to see how the film interprets Pope's grungy art style to achieve a unified look across two visual media.
It's no surprise that a Battling Boy movie is on the way. In addition to being one of the most acclaimed graphic novels of 2013, it mixes a lot of elements Hollywood has been very into lately. Dystopian science fiction? Battling Boy's got it. Monster-fighting fantasy? The book's full of it. A memorable female co-lead? Meet Aurora West, revenge-seeking daughter of a superhero. And yeah, that means it has superheroes too. Thor's even there (with the serial numbers filed off), and he's Battling Boy's dad!
Mantzoukas and Osborne aren't the most experienced filmmakers in the world, but they've both displayed talent in the past, and it'll be interesting to see how this unique project turns out.