With "The Losers" primed to arrive in theaters in just a few weeks, I had the opportunity to speak with director Sylvain White recently about his take on Andy Diggle and Jock's explosive comic book series, as well as another project he's attached to: an adaptation of Frank Miller's science-fiction classic "Ronin."
Originally published in 1983 by DC Comics, "Ronin" follows an ancient samurai who wakes up in a dystopic, tech-crazy New York City with the chance to finally avenge the death of his master at the hands of a centuries-old demon. A sprawling epic that's equal parts cyberpunk and high-tech thriller, the tale was noted for Miller's liberal use of massive cityscapes and heavily detailed set pieces.
Now that "Losers" is wrapped and on its way to theaters, White said "Ronin" is back in play again and hitting its stride at just the right time — especially given the current movement toward 3-D filmmaking.
"I had to put a stop on it while I was directing 'The Losers,' but now that I'm back here at Warner Bros. I'm on it again," he told MTV News. "We're sort of going to the next stage."
"It's something I have a very strong passion for — it's very complex material," said White. "I need it to be adapted right. It needs to have the right combination of intellectual ideas and the great action and sci-fi set pieces that it offers — particularly the brilliant production design that Frank Miller has in the comic, which was already groundbreaking at the time and still is today."
Calling it "a very important property" in his mind, White stopped short of saying it would be his next project, but indicated that they're picking through a new draft of the film these days with an eye toward development as a 3-D movie.
"You never know how long these things take, but we're working on a draft right now," he said. "But it's looking good. But you don't want it to be good, you want it to be brilliant."
"Fortunately, a lot of the studios are looking to make the sort of big-budget, 3-D movies nowadays much more than a decade ago," he continued. "Now, so many theaters are equipped with that, it seems to be a very good way to bring people into the theaters. That's something that I've been talking about for a while for a few projects, particularly for 'Ronin,' because when you look at the kind of action and the kind of characters he has in the comic, it totally demands a 3-D treatment."
With adaptations of Miller's "300" and "Sin City" comics already finding success at the box office, an adaptation of "Ronin" certainly has a lot to live up to — a situation White seems more than aware of with the project. And when "The Losers" hits theaters April 23, we'll likely get our first look at White's ability to bring a story from the page to the screen.
"It's literally, truly a cult classic," he said of "Ronin." "I just need it to be right."
What do you think of White's plans for "Ronin"? Let us know in the comment section or on Twitter!