Comic book movies are, of course, all the rage at the moment, and the success of mainstream properties like Captain America and Man of Steel coupled with Marvel's increasing boldness with lesser-known properties has led a number of studios to start looking into TV and films based on indie comics, or at least lower-tier corporate comics from BOOM! Studios, Valiant and the like.
The massive success of Guardians of the Galaxy will only make the desire to copy the Marvel formula more intense in Hollywood (civic motto: If it works, steal it).
Enter Valiant Entertainment, who already have three movies in development: Bloodshot from writer Jeff Wadlow and director Matthew Vaughn, Archer & Armstrong by Gigantic's Bendavid Grabinski and Shadowman by J. Michael Straczynski.
All have ties to The Valiant -- with Bloodshot and Armstrong being central characters in the series -- and I would argue that Valiant shouldn't wait until the other three are ready to go before prepping it.
The Valiant, in fact, would have been a perfect introduction to these characters. It still could be; if it were me, I'd probably introduce Bloodshot in The Valiant at least before moving him onto his solo film. His premise is pretty easy for the audience to wrap their head around, and the publishing side seems to be poised to more or less reboot him following the events of The Valiant anyway.
The story of The Valiant is a sweeping, historical epic that could help set the tone for the Valiant Universe going forward on film. The first issue -- one of the best issues of any comic this year -- follows The Eternal Warrior through a centuries-long conflict with an immortal enemy who always manages to defeat him and kill his charge, the Geomancer.
That's basically all the knowledge a Valiant virgin would need going in; while their individual mythologies are somewhat more complex, the idea of a trio of immortal brothers who fight for good in wildly different ways (Armstrong, Timewalker and the Eternal Warrior) is a pretty easy concept to grasp.
And everything in The Valiant grows out of that central conceit: Eternal Warrior is very good at his job, except when it comes to this one, dangerous villain who comes along every few hundred years and pantses him. This time around, the Geomancer is new, her powers uncertain, so he rallies a number of elite soldier-types to his side.
Also, his layabout brother.
This would all be even easier if the first movie to hit were Archer & Armstrong, which could give backgrounds and personalities to the three immortal brothers and some weight to both the conflict and the relationships between them. It would allow the heavy lifting to be handled in Armstrong's origin story and for the focus to be on the Geomancer, the Immortal Enemy, Bloodshot and Ninjak in The Valiant. Even more than Unity (a truly excellent superhero team book, but that's another conversation), this book is set up to establish the world of Valiant for new readers.
And, yes, in an ideal world, this fairly self-contained story with a solid sense of structure and character, could lay the groundwork for solo films down the road...because once you've seen it, how do you not walk out wanting a Ninjak movie?