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Constantine didn’t entirely work out as a franchise starter or as an adaptation of its source material, the comic Hellblazer. But there’s room for more than one supernatural solider or detective on screens. So Legendary Pictures, which loves to develop comic book movies (recent Batman and Superman films, 300, Watchmen, Jonah Hex) has picked up the rights to Gravel, the series by Warren Ellis and Mike Wolfer that centers on British ‘combat magician’ William Gravel.

Ellis will write at least the first script draft and serve as exec producer. The character was launched in a set of limited series that began in 1999. Now he’s the center of a monthly book. Variety describes the character as “a soldier in the British S.A.S. who uses his skills in dark magic to moonlight and battle supernatural beings for clients in order to make some extra cash.”

The synopsis of the first collection of issues from the ongoing series goes a little bit further and makes this sound like something that could be a lot of fun on screen:

A unique book of magic once existed, filled with such extraordinary and arcane spells, supernatural rites and inherent power that its possessor would be either unequaled, or driven irrevocably insane. Recently unearthed, the Sigsand Manuscript has been divided into six pieces and distributed among the Minor Seven, Britain’s great Occult Detectives. With the Sigsand in their grasp, the Seven now wield more power than they were ever meant to possess… And William Gravel is not happy about it. Once a member of their Order but unceremoniously replaced within their ranks, the SAS Sergeant Major and Combat Magician is on a mission of revenge, redemption and quite possibly rebirth, as he takes on the members of the Minor Seven one-by-one… And God help each of Gravel’s former colleagues should they decide not to relinquish their sections of the Sigsand to the one man who might have the supernatural skills and restraint to use the reconstituted manuscript without accidentally destroying the Earth in the process. They all promised to use the unholy power wisely, but Gravel knows they are all Bloody Liars!

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