Valiant has steadily been building their comic book brand since returning in 2012 with the help of creators like Robert Venditti, Cary Nord, Matt Kindt, Paolo Rivera, Doug Braithwaite, and Jeff Lemire.
With critically acclaimed comics laying the foundation, they’ve announced plans to expand upon their properties with a first step into multimedia in the form of the web series Ninjak vs. The Valiant Universe.
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But even before they released the teaser trailer for that series, they inked a five picture deal with Sony to bring Harbinger and Bloodshot to movie theaters. And they brought in an Oscar-nominated screenwriter to help make it happen.
Eric Heisserer was announced as the screenwriter for both films, which will eventually build to the explosive crossover Harbinger Wars. Heisserer is riding high after being nominated for an Academy Award for his film Arrival, and has recently exited working on the Van Helsing reboot.
The writer—who also has a Valiant comic coming later this year with Raul Allen and Laura Martin, Secret Weapons—was asked by /Film about working with relatively unknown characters in comparison to Batman and Spider-Man.
“I see it entirely as a blessing because they don’t come with any baggage, whether it’s good or bad,” Heisserer said. “The average viewer, I would say, doesn’t have any preconceived notions of what these characters should be.”
Heisserer added that long-time Valiant readers should recognize the characters despite the blank slate.
“For those who have been Valiant fans for a long while, it is my greatest hope that they find the essence of the character they have always loved in the depiction of those characters,” he added.
Heisserer said that unfamiliarity will “set [them] apart from a Marvel or DC Character.”
“It allows me to introduce them and develop them in a way that feels authentic and organic to what the story is,” he said. “These titles live in a world that carved out another corner of the comic book-film genre that has been unexplored.”
As things come together for the Valiant film universe, Ninjak vs. The Valiant Universe will be the company's first venture outside of comics. Look for that to debut later this year.