Warner Bros., Matthew Fox Link Up With 'Billy Smoke'

'Billy Smoke'These days, Hollywood sharks view the San Diego Comic Con as a veritable feeding frenzy of possible film and TV properties, but rarely do they bite at a project that hasn’t been published – or even written – yet. Even more rare is when a star gets attached to it so early in the game. Matter of fact, we’re pretty sure that’s never happened.

However, Oni Press’ soon-to-be-released “Billy Smoke,” written by B. Clay Moore about a hitman-turned-hero, broke that new ground in terms of comics making the jump to film with a star already attached. Fans who attended the show last month were treated to the news that, not only had Warner Bros. optioned the film, but “Lost” star Matthew Fox is already attached to star in the picture. And just to remind you – all this happened BEFORE the final script was written.

Pretty exciting stuff, but for Moore, what’s important is the source material and the hopes that fans will pick up the comic when it hits the shops. “The Hollywood attention gives us a chance to market the book to a broader spectrum prior to publication,” said Moore. “With Matthew Fox’s enthusiastic support, we’re hoping curious fans who otherwise would never have heard of ‘Billy Smoke’ might give the book a shot and help spread the word.”

Moore, who currently has three properties in various stages of development, is quick to point out that Warner Bros. didn’t simply pick up the idea sight-unseen. "While it's true the script is just now wrapping up, the story has been in place ever since the book was pitched to Oni, and I put together the most detailed outline I've ever worked from prior to Warner Bros. or Fox committing to anything,” explained Moore.

What’s you’re take on comics moving to film so quickly? Let us know in the comments.