Watchman Producer Lloyd Levin to Adapt Film Version of Matt Wagner's MAGE

Movieby Joey Paur

Watchman/ film producer Llyod Levin has acquired the rights to a lesser known older lesser-known 1980's comic book called Mage. This is a fifteen book collection that makes up a story arc called The Hero Discovered.

The story is a reinterpretation of the legend of Camelot, and centers on Kevin Matchstick, an alienated young man who discovers he has superhuman abilities, gains a magic baseball bat and defeats the nefarious plans of a being called the Umbra Sprite.

Levin went on to tell Variety the following...

It has always been a favorite book of mine. It's one of the great untapped comicbooks from the '80s renaissance that also spawned "Watchmen" and "Batman: Dark Knight."

Levin will finance the development of the film production, which was previously set up at Spyglass Entertainment with Zack Snyder attached to direct. He ended up before taking it to a different studio partner for distribution.

This property sounds like it has potential to becoming a really cool film! It should be interesting to see who Levin brings on to develop the project. 

Here is an overview of the comic:

The Hero Discovered follows Kevin Matchstick, an alienated young man with an uncanny resemblance to the author, as he meets a wizard called Mirth, discovers he has superhuman abilities, gains a magic baseball bat and defeats the nefarious plans of a being called the Umbra Sprite. He ultimately discovers that Mirth is Merlin, the baseball bat is Excalibur, and he is, in some ambiguous way, King Arthur. Also, all the chapter titles are lines from Shakespeare's Hamlet.

A backup story, Devil by the Deed, appeared in issues #7-14 of The Hero Discovered. This was a Grendel story that led directly into the Grendel comic series penned by Wagner, and drawn by a series of different artists, changing as each arc of the story changed.

The Hero Defined picks up Matchstick's adventures several years later as he fights supernatural menaces in the company of other heroes, including Kirby Hero and Joe Phat. Each hero he encounters is based on a genuine mythological character (Kirby as Hercules, Joe as Coyote) and comics professionals with whom Wagner has collaborated (Kirby as Bernie Mireault, Joe as Joe Matt). There is a new mage this time — Mirth has disappeared, and Matchstick is followed around by an old tramp called Wally Ut, who insists he is Matchstick's new mentor. In the course of the story he learns that he has misunderstood his mission, meets his future wife, and is alienated from his fellow heroes. He also discovers that he represents more than one mythical character: he is also Gilgamesh, and Kirby is also Enkidu. The chapter titles of The Hero Defined are from Macbeth, and Matchstick's wife and her siblings are heavily based on the Weird Sisters.

What do you think of Mage being developed into a film?

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