descender screenwriter

Over the past few years, I’ve watched my weekly comic book purchases change in some very telling ways. As my subscriptions to Marvel and DC books declined, I found myself reading more creator-owened series and the current king of that landscape is Image Comics. Which means I’ve been reading a ton of stuff with Image’s name on it and I’ve discovered countless engrossing and unique comic series that simply couldn’t exist under the “big two.”

One of those comics is Descender, a wonderful new-ish science fiction series from writer Jeff Lemire and artist Dustin Nguyen. Sony picked up the film rights one year ago and now they’ve finally tasked a writer with transforming the comic into a screenplay.

The Hollywood Reporter reports that Jesse Wigutow has been tasked with adapting Descender. Wigutow doesn’t have many credits to his name (It Runs in the Family is his only finished feature credit on IMDB), but he recently completed a rewrite of Bad Santa 2 and adapted Brian Michael Bendis’ comic book miniseries Fire for Universal.

Wigutow is the second name attached to the project after producer Josh Bratman, who past work includes Drive Angry and the Fright Night remake. We’ll start to hear more about potential directors as the project takes shape and this is the kind of material that could very well draw the interest of some ambitious filmmakers.

Descender shares some DNA with films like A.I.: Artificial Intelligence, but it is very much its own thing. Set in the distant future, the story picks up years after a surprise attack by a mysterious robotic armada left countless people across the known galaxy dead. As a direct result, robots (whose connection to the attackers remain unknown) are outlawed and teams of mercenaries and bounty hunters make a living hunting down and destroying any artificial beings that remain. The protagonist is TIM-21, a child-like robot programmed to be a companion for human kids, who finds himself abandoned and alone on a deserted colony… until he gets swept up in a dramatic plot that finds him traveling from planet to planet and getting involved in a series of harrowing adventures. It’s a satisfying combination of hard sci-fi and space opera, balancing some big, crazy ideas with lots of vicious action.

Right now, Descender is only nine issues into its run and the story is really starting to get going, introducing new characters and subplots that have drastically changed the direction of the series. Whether the film will directly adapt the series so far or take the concept and run in its own direction is currently unknown. However, I do highly recommend you check out the first collected volume of Descender. It’s strong science fiction and well worth your time whether a movie comes into being or not.

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