Mark Millar is one of the most sought after comic book writers in Hollywood. He is the writer of Kick-Ass, Wanted, Nemesis, Wanted, War Heroes, and more. It seems like every other month we are reporting on another project of his that is getting a big screen adaptation by a major studio. There's one project that he's working on that has not been whored out yet to Hollywood, and that is his new upcoming comic Jupiter's Children.
Jupiter's Children is going to be different from anything Millar has ever done before. It's going to be epic, and he predicts that if will end up being the biggest sci-fi franchise since Star Wars, which means it has to beat out Avatar as well. Calling out Star Wars like this is a very bold statement, but one I hope he's right about, because it would be awesome to get another epic sci-fi story to entertain us!
In a previous interview with CBR, Millar explained the story and universe without spoiling anything saying,
It opens in France in the 1920s, which immediately for a superhero story is a very different location. We start on a bunch of explorers kind of like that opening from 'King Kong,' which I love, and they're doing an exploration of the ancient world – these rich Americans who have put together an expedition to find something you'll hear about in the story. From those first few pages, and a doomed expedition, we cut to the present day, and they came home from that trip altered and with a plan to save the American idea. In historical context, the Russian revolution is relatively recent and Europe is in a state of turmoil and they're just on the cusp of the Wall Street Crash so they've gone on this trip to try and save America and then we cut to their utterly useless, meandering children in the present day essentially squandering their inheritance. It's not crass and celebrity focused, although it touches on that stuff. It's more Shakespearean, with the last of the old heroes, a King Lear figure, watching these teenagers and twenty-something with no altruism whatsoever. There's a massive regret in his eyes as he looks around at the world he's leaving behind, very much the world we see today with the Euro-zone collapse and industrial decline and six billion people worried about the future, he feels the children and grand-children of he and his friends just aren't up to the job. But this is just the starting point. This is like saying that Star Wars is about Darth Vader boarding a ship and kidnapping the Princess. This is the first eight or ten pages and we just run with it from here.
I think there's something sad and quite unique where these ten or twenty, slightly damaged super-people feel they can never live up to their parents. And something even more tragic about the parents recognizing that their children, in many ways, are their failures. In the same way, Paris Hilton is the granddaughter of a man with incredible business sense and the will to build that Hilton chain of hotels. She doesn't have the skills or drive he had. She's just a vacuous party girl who was born with a silver spoon and mistakes money and fame for success or respect. In the same way, these superheroes know something enormous is missing from their lives and are daunted by the prospect of replacing their parents. That's the thread running in the background, and on top of all this is this massive adventure story with aliens and robots and amazing ships and vehicles and a whole world I've been building with respect to what's happening here in the real world.
You've got the financial, and America losing power and influence to China, of course, but at the same time, there are massive internal problems in China with social engineering being just one of them. Over the last generation, there have been too many males born, so you're looking towards a massive social collapse over there. Huge unrest within the next decade. The Arab world is obviously in chaos and we have the European problems and the governments of the world asking these new, young heroes to help. But they can't. Half of them can barely read a book. Adamantium claws doesn't mean you know the specific pros and cons of quantative easing. But like I said, this is the backdrop where the adventure takes places. It's a huge, grand operatic piece that runs for ten issues and does super-heroics on a scale I've never even tried in something like 'The Ultimates.'
Sounds pretty freakin' awesome, but we still know very little about what happens, and why it's going to be the next big sci-fi franchise. Millar has turned down a ton of offers from Hollywood studios on this comic, so for now it's off the table. But I'm sure he will let it go someday. If it's going to be as big or bigger than Star Wars, he's going to have to eventually let it fly. He knows this which is why he says it isn't for sale... yet.
I'm excited for the comic, and to see just what Millar has in store for us with this one. I hope it does become the Star Wars sized franchise he thinks it will be! I guess it all depends on if it's good or not. We'll find out in September when it's released.