Before Disney acquired Marvel, the House of Ideas formed Marvel Studios in order to retain control over the creative direction of their characters on the big screen as opposed to licensing staples such as the X-Men, the Fantastic Four, and Spider-Man to other studios. It all started in 2008 when they released ‘Iron Man’, which started the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Since then, many other entities such as DC Entertainment and ‘Ghostbusters’ have strived to create a shared world for their films like the MCU. Now, a new contender is in the mix with their own movie universe thanks to a new deal.
Earlier this week, Valiant Entertainment announced that they would be partnering with Beijing-based DMG Entertainment, who co-produced and co-financed ‘Iron Man 3’ with Marvel Studios, as part of an eight-figure deal “to further its efforts in international publishing, film, television, licensing and beyond”. Ultimately, the independent comic publisher is looking to start their own cinematic universe, starting with a few films already in development including ‘Bloodshot’ from Sony Pictures in partnership with Original Film, ‘Shadowman’ in partnership with the Sean Daniel Company from a script by J. Michael Straczynski, and ‘Archer & Armstrong’, also with the Sean Daniel Company from a script by BenDavid Grabinski.
This deal comes as Valiant celebrates it’s 25th anniversary this year. Originally founded by a brain trust of legendary comic creators including Jim Shooter, Bob Layton, and Barry Windsor-Smith, the company was re-established in 2005 by relaunching classic books like ‘X-O Manowar’, ‘Harbinger’, and many more. By 2012, the company began to find commercial and critical success, but Valiant CEO & Chief Creative Officer Dinesh Shamdasani basically stated in the press release that they hope to bring things to a whole other level with DMG:
“Today marks one of Valiant’s biggest milestones yet with a huge step towards bringing the Valiant characters to the big screen and forging the foundation of the first truly international cinematic universe. By bringing Valiant’s biggest heroes to theaters around the world in concert with our new partners at DMG, we look forward to making Valiant not only an iconic name in comics, but global entertainment as well.”
Though both Valiant and DMG made their intentions known with this announcement, we don’t know how things will work logistically or creatively, especially since ‘Bloodshot’ is set up at a different studio than the other two films in development. Sure, Sony Pictures has recently shown that they could be a team player with Marvel over Spider-Man, but will they be willing to do the same with a lesser-known comic book property? And is there someone like Kevin Feige overseeing the Valiant Cinematic Universe? Marvel largely succeeds due to his vision for that world and the extremely talented creative minds that make it all happen, so who will be Valiant’s equivalent to that? There are a ton of questions still left to answer, but we’ll see where things go with this. Hopefully this competition pushes the whole comic book movie genre to improve as a whole.
What do you think about Valiant Entertainment taking a page from Marvel’s playbook and taking their character in their own hands when it comes to film and television? Are there any Valiant characters that you’re especially looking forward to seeing on the big screen? Sound off in the comments.