With blockbuster comic book adaptations likes Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Logan attempting to portray the twilight of a superhero's life fighting crime, the next cab off the rank in this trend appears to be Starlight. The Image Comics series of the same name enjoyed a limited 6-issue run in 2014 as it showcased a world weary Duke McQueen who has tragedy thrust upon him.
The Goran Parlov creation secured the services of Gary Whitta to develop a screenplay for the motion picture back in 2014, indicating that the idea was always there to have the print and live-action versions made in tandem. Whitta's success with Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and The Book of Eli starring Denzel Washington will lay the foundations for this gritty, grounded story. One that could become a classic.
Starlight Opt For Sly Casting Call
With 20th Century Fox winning a mini bidding war against competing studios for the rights to the movie, the series written by Mark Millar is pulling out all the stops. Sylvester Stallone could very well be jumping from one superhero installment in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 to Starlight. The actor is reportedly earmarked by Fox to front the title.
Marvel's own Simon Kinberg is believed to come onboard as a producer and will use his experience from the likes of X-Men: Days of Future Past and Deadpool to help develop a comic book flick with attitude. This is the official synopsis for the comic:
"Forty years ago, Duke McQueen was the space hero who saved the universe. But then he came back home, got married, had kids, and grew old. Now his children have left and his wife has died, leaving him alone with nothing except his memories...until a call comes from a distant world asking him back for his final and greatest adventure."
Flash Gordon, Without The Camp Tone
Whitta told /FILM in 2016 that the character has the aesthetic and moral code of a Flash Gordon or Buzz Lightyear, but within a world that feels akin to The Dark Knight Rises or the Western The Unforgiven. Quite the mixture, and something that could just work with Stallone as McQueen.
“I think there’s a little more to it than the pulp Flash Gordon adventures it’s inspired by in that it’s grounded in really powerful, universal themes," remarked Whitta. "Like any good science fiction it’s much more about the human story than it is any of the fantastical stuff, though there is certainly plenty of that. It’s about the importance of family, about what it means to grow old, and it has at the heart of it a protagonist that is so much more human and vulnerable than the typical two-dimensional space adventure hero.”