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Graham King, Akiva Goldsman to Adapt Rob Liefeld’s ‘Extreme Universe’

Variety logo Variety 1/3/2017 Justin Kroll
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Graham King and Fundamental Films are partnering to secure the film rights to Rob Liefeld’s “Extreme Universe.” King will partner with Akiva Goldsman to develop the property with an eye to launch a film franchise.

The pair plans to set up a writer’s room for the banner, which Goldsman will oversee.

King and Goldsman will produce the titles alongside Liefeld and Brooklyn Weaver. Weed Road’s president of production Greg Lessans and GK Films’ Denis O’Sullivan will executive produce.

The “Extreme Universe” banner encompasses nine comic-book titles and nearly 100 characters which include Bloodstrike, Brigade, Lethal, Re-Gex, Cybrid, Bloodwulf, Battlestone, Kaboom, and Nitro-Gen among them.

“Over the past nearly 25 years, since launching Image Comics, I’ve been lucky enough to see the power of these stories and characters as they’ve resonated with several generations of comic book fans,” Liefeld said in a statement. “To now be able to work with Akiva Goldsman and Graham King, who are powerhouses in their own right, to bring these compelling characters and conflicts to life on the big screen is nothing short of a dream come true!”

Best known for creating the Deadpool, X-Force, and Cable comic series in the early ’90s, Liefeld’s influence extended to popular characters and storylines featuring Spider-Man, X-Men, Captain America, and the Avengers during his time at Marvel Comics. X-Force launched to 5 million sales and remains the second best-selling comic in history.

In an interview with Variety, Liefeld said he and Goldsman had begun talking right before “Deadpool”‘s release last February as hype was beginning to rise on the film.

“I would say ‘Deadpool’ had that hype window when it was coming out and during the press for that from January to ‘Deadpool’’s opening I had heard from Akiva who thought we would be a good fit together. He actually had been looking at another property and that segue into ‘Extreme Universe’ and Graham shortly came in and we were off to the races,” Liefeld said.

A big selling point to Liefeld in Goldsman partnering with him on “Extreme Universe” was his recent work running the writer’s room for Paramount’s new “Transformers” universe and the attention to detail that went into expanding on an already enormous world.

“The great thing about going to see Akiva is he showed me what they did on the ‘Transformers’ writing room and he showed me this perfectly bound book called “the ‘Transformers’ bible”, full of storlines and concept art for not just “Last Knight” but other projects as well, which really impressed me with how this world was conceptualized,” he said.

“I had such a good time creating this universe 25 years ago and it was so original. There are great complicated characters and storylines,” Liefeld said. “We are trying to diversify the universe and we get that this is the world we will live in and believe this will be a more diverse comic book world then other comics.”

Deadline Hollywood first reported the news.

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