The co-founder of Blur Studio, the animation and visual effects house best known lately for the very memorable opening credits for The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and to ComicsAlliance readers for The Goon animations, Tim Miller will direct a live action film based on Gravel, the Avatar Press comic book series created by Warren Ellis and Mike Wolfer. The film will come courtesy of Legendary Pictures (The Dark Knight, Wrath of the Titans, Man of Steel). Published by Avatar under the titles Strange Kiss, Stranger Kiss, Strange Killings and ultimately Gravel, Ellis and artist Wolfer's William Gravel character is a British soldier and magician who supplements his income by working as a kind of infernal mercenary, servicing clients who need some off-the-books supernatural problem-solving.

As Ellis wrote on his website, it was once the case that he would write the screenplay for Gravel. Instead, the script will be penned by Oliver Butcher and Stephen Cornwell (Unknown), but the comic book author says curious parties ought not to be concerned.

I can't say a lot more than that without giving some stuff away, but some of you will remember that the original plan was for me to write this film. Plans changed and expanded, and I was working on other things both announced and rumoured during the initial process on this film. My relationship with Legendary has grown since we made the initial deal a couple of years ago. All is good.

Additionally, Ellis identified director Miller as a personal friend and characterized the hire as "the best news." No release date has been announced.

Miller is also attached to Fox's in-development Deadpool movie, ostensibly a spinoff from X-Men Origins: Wolverine.

In other Warren Ellis news, The Wire and Luther star Idris Elba is close to signing on to Ascension, a British television miniseries Ellis created with Vivek J. Tiwary. Deadline describes the project as such:

...revolves around the history and future of astronomy and mankind's impulse for the stars. Luther star Idris Elba is considering a potential double-starring in the project, as the Egyptian polymath Imhotep in 3000 B.C. as well as a brilliant astronomer in the near future.

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