It's been a while since we checked in with the Top Cow crew about "The Witchblade," the planned feature film based on the publisher's long-running, fan-favorite comic book series about a female police detective who fights evil with the aid of a supernatural artifact. Back in May, Top Cow president Matt Hawkins said the project was still looking for a writer, but financing had already been secured and director Michael Rymer ("Battlestar Galactica," "Queen of the Damned") was attached.
During a recent conversation with Hawkins, the Top Cow chief said very little's changed in that respect—but they have come up with a new take on the movie's plot.
"We sat down with a couple of guys, [co-producer] Platinum Studios and Marc Silvestri and I, and we banged out a three-page document that says here’s the basic story idea we want to do," said Hawkins. "It’s sort of a balancing act—it’s very different from the book, but thematically, it’s very much the same."
"Witchblade" previously found its way to the screen as both a live-action television series and a well-received anime that each offered a unique spin on the property and its mythology. According to Hawkins, the live-action movie would also present a slightly different take on the character, too.
"We always say you don’t want to stay ridiculously faithful to the comic, but at the same time, if you make it so radically different, what’s the point?" he explained.
Hawkins compared their plans for "Witchblade" to the recent, live-action adaptation of another Top Cow series, "Wanted."
"You look into the feelings, the tones and how the character acts, the thing that is the same in 'Wanted' is the character arc of Wesley," said Hawkins of the main character in the "Wanted" movie and comic book series. "If you actually look at his journey, it’s the same arc—the circumstances are slightly different and the other characters are slightly different, but it’s the same character arc—so that's what we've been diligently working on with 'Witchblade,' too."
Still in search of a new screenwriter, "Witchblade" presents some unique challenges to potential scribes, said Hawkins.
"When you do a female-lead film that’s successful, they always turn it around and they say it was the effects," he explained. "People in Hollywood... When you talk to people about something like 'Underworld,' it’s always the werewolf/vampire thing and it’s not Kate Beckinsale. ... It's not that they always think a female lead film is going to fail, but... I don’t know. It’s just one of those things."
Even though the project could lose the aforementioned financing if it doesn't go into production soon, Hawkins said they're not keen on rushing the process.
"Yeah, if we don’t have it in process next year, we’re going to run into trouble—but trouble is irrelevant. You can always just start over," he said. "It’s certainly not a property we’re going to give up on, we’re on issue 140 in the comics. ... But I’d rather there not be a 'Witchblade' movie or television show if it’s going to be some piece of crap. If we're going to do it, it's got to be good."
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