Rob Liefeld Teases Big News About Jake Gyllenhaal's Prophet Adaptation

Stopping short of making an announcement himself, Deadpool creator Rob Liefeld teased big news on the horizon for Prophet, the movie based on one of his creator-owned characters, which has been in development since 2020. The film will feature a story written by Arrow executive producer Marc Guggenheim, based on the comics by Liefeld, one of Image Comics's co-founders. It is set to star Jake Gyllenhaal as John Prophet, a character introduced in Liefeld's Youngblood. There have been relatively few updates on the progress of the film since Gyllenhaal boarded as a star and producer, although both Liefeld and Guggenheim have been publicly enthusiastic about the process of putting the project together.

Of course, enthusiasm doesn't always guarantee success...or even production. But Liefeld, who has been sitting on that whole Hugh Jackman/Deadpool intel for quite a while without breaking his silence, seems pretty confident.

"Here's the deal: Sam Hargrave's still on board. Jake Gyllenhaal still completely engaged," Liefeld told ComicBook.com. "Jake has come on as a producer. The draft that is being completed right now is a polish of the second act. There was one sequence that was added, that everyone was like 'How did we never think of that?' Prophet is like...I wish I could share the screenplay with everybody. It's that old adage: if it's not on the page, it's not on the screen. Marc Guggenheim, his draft got us Sam Hargrave, got us Jake Gyllenhaal. That's how good the paper is....But we always knew, Jake was always making Road House right now. Sam was never going to be done with Extraction 2, even a year ago, there was an additional 13, 14 months. So we're extremely excited. In the business of movies, you just hope that your important contributors stay on board, and as of today, Jake is fully engaged, giving notes, taking meetings, shaping the movie, and Sam is in his free time away from Extraction 2, has continued to shape it. I am super excited, I don't want to jinx it, but it is a big deal."

He also teased that there will be more Extreme Studios titles announced for screen adaptations, pointing out that '90s properties like Venom and Deadpool have been huge hits, and he has confidence that some of his creator-owned characters can have similar success.

The screenplay focuses on some of the earliest Prophet adventures, beginning in the second issue of Youngblood, according to Liefeld. The big thing that Guggenheim brings to it, besides a screenplay structure, is a focus on character that was a little bit lost in the bombastic action of introducing Prophet in a team book.

"There is a section in the middle of Youngblood #2 that get into the nitty gritty about why John Prophet does what he did to become the soldier he is, including on what he needed to help his family," Liefeld told ComicBook back in 2021. "What's great about Marc Guggenheim is that he moves you with his scripts and storytelling. You're going to be tearing up in the first 20 minutes. And so after you read, that you say to yourself, 'There needs to be a great actor here,' then we were fortunate enough to add Jake Gyllenhaal to the equation and man let me tell you, he's like the great actor of his generation."

Gyllenhaal is no stranger to comic book movies, having appeared in Spider-Man: Far From Home already. His name also appears as an Easter egg on the Billboard chart in Josie and the Pussycats. But it's his non-comics work that made the filmmakers think he was ideal for John Prophet.

John Prophet was conceived of something like "what if Captain America, but violent?" story. While Peacemaker has an  element of that, there's not likely to be a ton of overlap between the two projects. In the comics, Prophet was a homeless man in the '40s, who ended up being part of a government-funded super-soldier program. It worked, but the process also made him mentally unstable, and the science of the time could not keep his volatility and rage under control.

Where Captain America went into a de facto cryostasis after seemingly dying during a World War II mission, Prophet was put into stasis by his creator, springing back to "life" almost fifty years later and becoming an antihero.

Originally inspired by Gene Roddenberry and Steven Spielberg, Prophet had a brush with the big screen in the '90s, when TriStar Pictures optioned the rights. They let it lapse, though, and it wasn't until 2018 that Studio 8 optioned the property and began developing it in earnest. With the massive success of the Liefeld-created Deadpool in the movies, the studio tapped Guggenheim to pen the adaptation.

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