Stan Lee's Horror Comics To Get The Cinematic Universe Treatment From Timur Bekmambetov

Timur Bekmambetov, the filmmaker behind the action banger "Wanted," is developing a new cinematic universe based on iconic comic book writer and publisher Stan Lee's work — but this universe might hold more bumps in the night. Under Bekmambetov's production banner, Bazelevs, the "Night Watch" director is assembling a series of connected films based on Lee's unexplored horror works, with Kevin Kölsch, Dennis Widmyer, and Matt Greenberg taking care of the screenplay.

Bazelevs will be working arm-in-arm with producer Ara Keshishian's ZQ Entertainment on "Sawbones" and "Carnival of Killers." Lee's POW! Entertainment, co-founded with Gill Champion and Arthur Lieberman after Lee's retirement from Marvel in the 1990s, will be executive producing the films. The scribes for Stan Lee's horror cinematic universe, Kölsch and Widmyer, helmed the 2019 adaptation of Stephen King's novel "Pet Sematary" along with Matt Greenberg, who also co-wrote another King adaptation, the haunted hotel picture "1408." Kölsch and Widmyer will handle "Carnival of Killers," while Greenberg will write "Sawbones." We should all be excited for this as Kölsch and Widmyer were also behind the vicious ambition-in-LA horror film "Starry Eyes," and between that and the rather mean-spirited "Pet Sematary," we might finally see some fang to Stan Lee's work.

Sawbones and Carnival of Killers

"Sawbones" is about a vulnerable 12-year old child named Alex Covin who reads a strange comic book and is pulled into the comic's universe, set at a haunted Juvenile Detention Center. That's bad enough, but the facility is also crawling with demonic forces led by a killer entity known as Sawbones, who personifies Alex's fears. As he interrogates his own grip on reality (was he really sucked into a comic book, or is he losing his mind?), he must figure out how to escape from the nightmare realm, which means going toe-to-toe with Sawbones and coming out alive, somehow. 

So, it's like the French program "Flatmania," but with demons and death.

"Carnival of Killers," meanwhile, is set during the Dust Bowl storms of the 1930s that devastated the Southern Plains of the United States, a unique and fantastic setting for strange and scary goings-on. The story follows a young psychic girl who gets bad vibes from the traveling carnival she and her mother sought refuge in — she suspects aliens may be involved.

Bekmambetov tells Deadline:

"There is no other mastermind who has created more successful entertainment than Stan Lee. I'm excited to bring to the screen the darker side of his creative genius and imagination."