MILLARWORLD’s Feature Film Options - A Brief History

Credit: Leinil Francis Yu
Credit: Steve McNiven (Marvel/Icon)

Earlier this week, Netflix announced the acquisition of Mark Millar's comic book imprint Millarworld and all its various comic book properties with an eye towards film and television adaptation. But thanks to the prodigious nature of Millar's pipeline from comic books to film deals, most of the projects inside Netflix's new acquisition are promised elsewhere.

87.5% percent of them, actually (depending on how long film rights last)

To date, Millar and various co-creators have done 16 individual franchises through the Millarworld shingle - all but two of them were optioned for films over the years. Some, like Wanted, Kick-Ass, and The Secret Service, made the successful jump with actual films, while others' film rights have sat for years and have possibly reverted back to Millar, and now Netflix.

Here is a rundown of all 16 of Millarworld's franchises, and the most recent reports of where the film rights situations are:

American Jesus vol 1
American Jesus vol 1

Chosen/American Jesus: Promoted by Millar as a sequel to the Christian Bible, Chosen was originally published at Dark Horse with artist/co-creator Peter Gross. It was later republished under a new name as American Jesus at Image Comics. It, along with Supercrooks, was optioned in 2016 by Waypoint Entertainment.

Chrononauts: Millar and Sean Murphy's buddy cop-style miniseries was originally conceived as a feature film for Universal Pictures, and that studio has held the film rights since 2015. In April, screenwriter Phil Gawthorne was announced as developing the screenplay.

Empress: Millar and Stuart Immonen's 2016 Marvel Icon title was snapped up soon after its debut by Hollywood producers Joe Roth and Jeff Kirschenbaum, with the later describing their vision of the film as "part Star Wars, part Guardians of the Galaxy."

Huck: Jeff Robinov's upstart shingle Studio 8 optioned Millar and Rafael Albuquerque's Huck one month prior to its comic book debut in 2015.

Credit: Frank Quitely (Image Comics)

Jupiter's Legacy / Jupiter's Circle: Arguably Millar's most high profile modern creator-owned title, Jupiter's Legacy is a Silver Age themed franchise with his Authority collaborator Frank Quitely. In 2016, Lorenzo di Bonaventura stepped foward as producer of a feature film franchise for it, citing "the emotional weight of the family dynamic in Shakespearean fashion." In June 2016, screenwriters Brian and Mark Gunn were confirmed to be writing the script.

Kingsman/The Secret Service: This project is one that was developed by Millar, Dave Gibbons, and Matthew Vaughn concurrently as a comic book and film project. Sequels to both the comic book miniseries and the film are scheduled for release this fall through 20th Century Fox, and Vaughn has said a third film is already in the works.

Kick-Ass: Co-created with John Romita Jr., this Marvel Icon (and later Image Comics) title spun off several sequels and even a Hit-Girl spin-off. Two films were released through Lionsgate and Universal Pictures in 2010 and 2013, and a third was mentioned by Millar and original director Matthew Vaughn as late as 2015, however the principal cast said they are not contracted for any more films.

MPH: Lorenzo di Bonaventura optioned this 2014 Millar/Duncan Fegredo miniseries a few weeks before its comic book debut, with a stated plan to have a screenplay written before engaging with a studio. To date, no screenwriter or studio commitment has been announced.

Nemesis: Millar and his Civil War collaborator Steve McNiven 2010 miniseries has been in development as a film since 2010, first with 20th Century Fox but as of 2015 with Warner Bros. Pictures.

Reborn: This recently-completed miniseries with Greg Capullo is one of the few Millar project that has yet to have an announced film deal. At the time of the book's debut, Millar stated that he was in talks and had a particular producer in mind, but no deal has since been announced.

Starlight: This Flash Gordon-inspired 2014 miniseries with Goran Parlov was optioned as a film by 20th Century Fox even before the first issue debuted. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story's Gary Whitta completed a script for the film in 2015.

Superior: Millar and Leinil Francis Yu's Captain Marvel-inspired miniseries from 2010 was optioned by 20th Century Fox in 2014, with frequent Millar collaborator Matthew Vaughn producing ith Taqruin Pack. Millar has openly hoped that John Cena would be cast as the titular superhero.

Supercrooks: Millar and Yu's other creator-owned title was optioned in April 2016 as part of a package deal for Chosen with Waypoint Entertainment.

Wanted: Millar and J.G. Jones 2003-2005 Image Comics/Top Cow series was adapted into a Universal Pictures film in 2008, and at the time the writer told Newsarama a sequel closer to the original source comic books was being discussed but nothing since has been announced.

The Unfunnies: Millar's least-known Millarworld title would be this unfinished 2004 miniseries at Avatar Press with Anthony Williams. Originally part of Millarworld's launch titles, The Unfunnies was described at the time by Millar as "a very dark, multi-charactered story (along the lines of Magnolia) with funny animals." There have been no announcement about this title being optioned for any film or television adaptation to date.

War Heroes: Millar and Tony Harris' unfinished 2008 Image Comics title was highly-anticipated by comic book fans due to the writer framing it as what a third Ultimates series by him and Bryan Hitch would have been. Columbia Pictures snapped up the film rights soon after its debut, but no news about that project - or the completion of the comic book series - has been forthcoming.

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