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UPDATE: Well, I’m told that ‘reportedly’ should be downgraded to ‘not.’ In other words, a good source says this isn’t happening. Sorry to dash your hopes. Mine are kinda dashed, too. Original article follows.

This is a comic book adaptation I can really get behind. As DC Comics starts to get more films in development at Warner Bros., attention is being paid to some of the less obvious titles. One of those is reportedly Starman. (And no, it isn’t based on the John Carpenter movie.)

While Starman is a character with a long history at DC — there have been several incarnations — the version I’d expect the film to focus on would be Jack Knight, the son of the original version of the character, and the core of an award-winning series written by James Robinson from 1994 to 2001.

Pajiba says the film is in development under producers Dan Lin (Sherlock Holmes, Terminator: Salvation) and Gregory Noveck. There isn’t a writer or director at this point, and Pajiba’s report isn’t even clear that this would be the Jack Knight incarnation.

But no other version of the character makes sense. As Robinson wrote him, Jack was a very reluctant hero, using a staff invented by his father to take to the skies after his brother David is killed during a brief, if enthusiastic stint as Starman.

James Robinson’s stories about Jack Knight are an ideal basis for a film. They’re well-written with great characters and no shortage of action, with the conflict often being oriented around character clashes (read: affordable) rather than massive setpieces (read: super expensive). That’s in the earlier stages, at least; eventually Jack heads into space for vaguely Green Lantern-style adventures. Crossover potential!

(And how many other comic stories have the male hero raped by his female adversary? That part might be excised from a film version.)

Plus, it’s a window into the golden age of DC heroes, thanks to Jack’s sometimes combative relationship with his father Ted. Family plays a huge part in the story, as issues would periodically have Jack speaking with the shade of his slain brother David. All that, and there’s also Opal City, which is just about as fully-realized a comic setting as you’ll see anywhere.

Written well, this could be a project with franchise potential for an actor that wanted more than the typical superhero role. It could be great, which probably means we’ll never actually see it.

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