The creative team behind The Darkness, Paul Jenkins, Ron Marz and artist Phil Hester, gave CBR News an update on the development of a feature film based on the Top Cow property.
The comic's central theme is the power known as The Darkness and its wielders. The Darkness is an ageless power dating back beyond human history. The Darkness is passed down a family line from father to son, leaving the previous user (and taking his life) as his first child is conceived. The power then manifests in the child on his 21st birthday. Jackie Estacado is the current wielder of The Darkness and a hitman for the Franchetti Family mob. He is a very violent and sexual man who lived life in the fast lane, until gaining the powers of The Darkness. Though Jackie is both a criminal and a killer, he has a set of morals he follows and always tries to protect those he cares about.
When asked where the film was, in terms of development, Paul Jenkins responded:
It's a little bit early to talk about, and that's not because-- I hate that coy crap, where people just say, "I can't tell you, it wouldn't be prudent to tell you right now what's going on." No, it's just it's a little bit early. What I now know about the film industry is that if you push it to quickly, and then you don't do it, then people will sort of look at you sideways and say, "Well, where is that thing that you talked about?" And I think the guys at Top Cow, Marc Silvestri, will probably be able to address this better than I, is a little frustrated that they had everything going the way that they had it, and then the option lapsed, and things fell through, and everybody stood there looking at each other saying, "Well, when's this thing gonna happen?"
Now, I've discussed this with Marc, because I'm actually in the business now of being able to seriously make a movie, and the great part about that is that we're doing it with independent financing. Basically, Marc knew that I had come along after 39 issues of "The Darkness"-- And you can read the original Garth material, and then I read some of the material that came afterwards, and it was difficult to see it moving forward, you know? So what we did was not actually move it forward in a massive way, we didn't do some massive thing, we actually calmed it down a little bit, I thought. Dale [Keown] and I probably got it and said, "Look, this is a great character, couldn't we kind of define him a little bit? Couldn't we just kind of give him a simple story, family revenge, this kind of stuff?" And so we did that.
Marc has talked with me about maybe being involved in getting the film made. We're in really early stages about that because obviously I've got other things to do, and I'm doing them. But I really feel like, I've had some success coming into the comic when it was meandering a little bit and sort of stabilizing the ship. What's happening now at Top Cow might in small part due to the fact that we stabilized it back to where things could be done with it. "Let's get the character back to where he really should be, you know?"
In talking with Marc, he said, "Look, Paul, you really have come along and sort of helped solidify the Darkness character, let's talk further about what potential involvement you can have with the film." That's why it's a little bit early, isn't it? Because it may be that I don't do it, for a couple of reasons, not the least of which is we're doing "Tatua" right now, and I might not be able to do it, right? But if it works out, I'd love it. Us guys in the comic industry, we should be working in film more often, that's what I'm hoping to accomplish. Wouldn't you guys agree? We tell better stories more often, on a monthly basis.
Ron Marz added, "I think Paul's absolutely right. If you look at the level of writing and just story craft in most comics, I mean, not necessarily Superman, Batman, Spider-Man, X-Men, because those are real sort of corporate franchises, but in the vast majority of comics that are out there, it's better than a lot of the writing in TV and in movies. And we're doing it in, like, a fifth of the time. We're turning scripts around that I think have more heart and more depth and more intelligence than half of the stuff that actually gets put in front of the camera."
CLICK HERE to read the full interview with the The Darkness creative team.