Acclaimed filmmaker Taika Waititi has signed on to direct the upcoming screen adaptation of Alejandro Jodorowsky and Mœbius’ bestselling graphic novel series, The Incal. The movie will be the first feature adaptation of the French graphic novels, after they were originally published in the 1980s, Deadline is reporting.
Waititi will also co-write the film’s script with his frequent collaborator, Jemaine Clement. The duo, who have also worked together on the What We Do in the Shadows franchise and the Flight of the Conchords television show, will also co-pen The Incal‘s screenplay with Peter Warren.
Waititi has spoken with Jodorowsky about the development The Incal‘s screen adaptation. The graphic novel series’ scribe offered the filmmaker his blessing during a Zoom conversation before sthe latter signed on to write and helm the project.
The BAFTA Award-winning Waititi is also collaborating with the graphic novels’ publisher, Humanoids, and the production company Primer Entertainment on the movie. Both companies will serve as producers on the feature, which will be Humanoids’ first film project.
Executives at Humanoids have revealed that Waiti, Clement and Warren aren’t the first screenwriters who offered to adaptat the graphic novel series for the screen since it was published. But the trio’s idea for the script is the first one to be approved by the publisher. The screenplay’s first draft is expected to be finished by the end of the year, after which it will shopped to stuidos for a distribution deal.
The Incal will be an epic space opera that follows P.I. John Difool as he uncovers the eponymous mystical artifact, which is an object of great power that’s coveted by many factions across the galaxy. As Difool learns about the Incal’s powers and purpose, he and his unlikely cohorts reluctantly embark on what begins as an improbable mission to save the universe. Their adventure slowly becomes a spiritual journey that examines the meaning of existence.
“The films and graphic novels of Alejandro Jodorowsky have influenced me and so many others for so long,” Waititi said as he discussed adapting the graphic novel series.
“I was stunned to be given the opportunity to bring his iconic characters to life and I am grateful to Alejandro, Fabrice and everyone at Humanoids for trusting me to do so.”
“When Humanoids’ CEO Fabrice Giger introduced me to Taika Waititi’s work, it became obvious to me that he was the one,” Jodorowsky chimed in about the film. “I fully trust Taika’s creativity to give The Incal a stunning take, intimate and at the same time of cosmic proportions.”
Humanoids’ CEO, Fabrice Giger also commented on The Incal‘s adaptation, saying the graphic novel series “has transformed everything it’s ever touched and continues to do so: its creators, the other artists who later became a part of John’s journey, its publisher Humanoids and myself in the process, countless readers, writers and directors around the world, and soon, I believe, the great Taika Waititi himself and everyone who looks to him for inspiration.”
Waititi, who began his filmmaking career with a string of acclaimed movies in his native New Zealand, then made a name for himself in American cinema with his hit Hollywood debut, Thor: Ragnaroks. He’s currently working on its anticipated sequel, Thor: Love and Thunder. He also directed the Oscar-winning World War II satire, Jojo Rabbit. After helming episodes of The Mandalorian, he signed to expand his involvement with the Star Wars franchise by making a standalone feature. The filmmaker is also developing a Flash Gordon film.