Joe Cornish, the filmmaker behind Attack the Block and The Kid Who Would Be King, is set to write and direct Starlight, the upcoming Netflix film based on Mark Millar's comic book of the same name with artist Goran Parlov. Not to be confused with the Starlight who appears in The Boys, Millar's version centers is an adventure/sci-fi tale reminiscent of Flash Gordon and John Carter. Starlight centers on a space hero who saved the universe 35 years ago but came back to Earth, where no one believed his fantastic stories. He settled down, got married, had kids and got old, but then is called back for one last adventure when his old rocket shows up.
While Cornish only has those two feature film directorial gigs under his belt, he's a prolific and in-demand writer for film and TV. The movie has been in development since 2014, when the six-issue miniseries it's based on was still quite fresh. At one point, Star Wars franchise veteran Gary Whitta was set to write the screenplay, but the film's long development process, during which time Millar sold the rights, likely meant that script was never going to see the light of day. Hiring a writer/director like Cornish makes it official.
Starlight was notable at the time of its release because before the comic ever saw the light of day, it had already been optioned as a film for Fox. That deal was made in late 2013, and Millar's first issue of Starlight hit the stands in March 2014. The series went on to be one of Millar's best-reviewed series in years, in no small part because it operates outside of Millar's expected comfort zone, trading on nostalgia and earnestness rather than the subversiveness and violence seen in many of his other hit comics.
For a time, Millar worked with with Fox to develop films based on the Marvel Comics properties they owned, including X-Men, Deadpool and Fantastic Four. Movies based on his own work include Kick-Ass, Kingsman, and Wanted -- although some of those films, especially in the case of Wanted, are only vaguely connected to the comics on which they are ostensibly based. In 2017, Millar brought his Millarworld publishing empire to Netflix to develop film and TV properties based on comics he publishes. In 2019, Millar sold them the rights, although he retained the publishing rights, and the sale did not include several prominent titles, including Kingsman and Kick-Ass.
Simon Kinberg, who worked with Millar on Fox/Marvel projects, will serve as a producer through Genre Films, with Audrey Chon and Nira Park on board as well, according to Deadline, who first broke the news of Cornish's involvement.