We've got something of a low-key shake-up in the comic book movie world. Harbinger, the upcoming live-action movie adaptation of the Valiant Entertainment title, has moved from Sony, where it had been in development for several years, to Paramount. This is crucial as it means Sony's plans for a possible Harbinger Wars event have likely been scrapped, as it's unlikely Paramount would work with Sony to crossover with Bloodshot, which is set to hit theaters next year.
According to a new report, Director Justin Tipping, who had been attached to direct Harbinger at Sony and co-wrote the screenplay, is making the jump to Paramount. As is producer Neal Moritz, who is said to have been a major factor in moving Harbinger from Paramount to Sony. The comic book adaptation had been eyeing a shoot this year. Instead, it will now undergo a development process that is expected to be short over at Paramount before the cameras roll.
Harbinger, in short, centers on superpowered teens and a corporation that attempts to harness their powers for its own self-interests. The group rebels against them and things escalate from there. It's said Dylan O'Brien (The Maze Runner) and Noah Centineo (To All the Boys I've Loved Before) were being eyed for roles by Sony before the move.
A little bit of background here. Valiant is one of the only comic book companies outside of Marvel and DC that maintains a continuity in its universe across all of its various titles. Amongst those titles are Harbinger and Bloodshot. Sony had hoped to map out a five-movie arc using Vin Diesel's Bloodshot and the cast of Harbinger to build to a Harbinger Wars event which would have been based on the comic book crossover initially published in 2013, similar to what Marvel Studios had done with The Avengers. Given the messy situation between Disney and Sony over Spider-Man, it's highly unlikely they would work with another studio on a crossover event again.
DMG Entertainment, the owner of Valiant, is in an interesting situation now. If they hope to pursue a cinematic universe with the publisher's titles, it will be without Bloodshot. If that becomes a hit at Sony, things could get even more tricky. However, the company still holds the rights to other key titles in the Valiant lineup such as X-O Manowar, Eternal Warrior and Archer & Armstrong. If Harbinger goes well, perhaps they could work with Paramount to develop a universe. If not, and these titles end up at various studios, a shared universe is all but out of the question.
This comes as studios are trying desperately to up their franchise game, specifically in the comic book department. But with Marvel locked up at Disney and DC over at Warner Bros., other studios are going to have to get creative and look elsewhere outside of the big two. Valiant remains an untapped resource, but things just got a little more complicated on that front. Harbinger does not yet have a release date set. We'll be sure to keep you posted as any further details on the project are made available. This news comes to us via The Hollywood Reporter.