Back in early February, the news broke that "Youngblood," one of the flagship Image Comics series that defined the '90s comics boom, was headed to the big screen with "X-Men: The Last Stand" director Brett Ratner attached. Created by veteran writer/artist Rob Liefeld, "Youngblood" chronicled the adventures of a government-sanctioned team of superheroes who operated in the public eye while fighting super-powered threats and dealing with superhero-sized drama.
I had the chance to catch up with the superteam's creator recently to get an update on "Youngblood," and to receive some news about the film's writing team, plot and character lineup.
According to Liefeld, the "Youngblood" movie is currently being scripted by the writing duo of J.P. Lavin and Chad Damiani, who are also working on another adaptation of a Liefeld comic (the Bryan Singer-produced "Capeshooters" in development at Warner Bros). He said the pair is half-way through their first draft of the screenplay.
While the veteran creator said he's been working closely with the writers ("I'm in every single meeting," he told MTV), he confessed that he hadn't heard of the pair until they came up in conversation twice in one day last year -- and ended up attached to both "Capeshooters" and "Youngblood" in a matter of hours.
"They were the guys everyone wanted for 'Capeshooters' at 11 AM at Warner Bros a year ago, and then at 3 PM, I met with Brett [Ratner] and his producing partner, and Brett says, 'I know exactly who we have to get to write this: Lavin and Damiani,'" said Liefeld.
Given the comic book series' occasionally adult-oriented subject matter, which combined massive action sequences with discussion of modern politics and celebrity culture, Liefeld explained that the film was "looking to be in the 'Iron Man' neighborhood" as far as tone and rating. He told MTV that he hoped to make the film "a little more violent" than Marvel's 2008 blockbuster, "but as much as you can push it with PG-13."
Story-wise, the veteran creator said the big-screen adaptation of "Youngblood" would focus on team members Shaft and Chapel, the bow-wielding marksman and gun-toting former soldier who lead the team.
"They don't like each other," said Liefeld. "Shaft is the new kid on the block in the movie, and he and Chapel have to put aside their differences to save the Youngblood program."
However, one character that won't be appearing in the film is Badrock, the teenage boy with a body made of stone. Liefeld told MTV the decision to leave out Badrock was his choice, adding that the character "doesn't fit in first film."
"There are characters that have micro-cameras installed on their bows, their arrows, their semiautomatic rifles, their bo staffs," Liefeld explained of the ambitious, unique visuals he hopes the adaptation will bring to the screen. "You're getting footage from a thousand angles, from the casing on their weapons to their armor."
"When Youngblood goes live, the whole word watches," he added.
What do you think about the "Youngblood" movie? Looking forward to seeing how it's translated on the big screen? Let us know in the comment section!