The film rights to Tony Harris and Brian K. Vaughan’s political-thriller comic Ex Machina has reverted back to the creators after New Line allowed them to expire.
New Line, who have since become a Warner Bros owned studio, acquired the film rights in 2005 but any news since on a proposed adaptation has been pretty much non-existent. When What Culture took it upon ourselves last night to ask Ex Machina artist Tony Harris for an update, he responded with the news that he and writer Brian K. Vaughan had reacquired the rights to the film adaptation and that things were “fluid”.
@dipo_oh anything can happen. The rights are back from NEWLINE in mine and BKVS hands. So things are fluid.
— Tony Harris (@TONYFINGHARRIS) August 17, 2012
This news should come as a relief to any Ex Machina purists that may have been worried about New Line Cinema taking too many artistic liberties with the film version. With the rights back in the hands of the original creators, we can expect the same level of quality as the source material when a film is inevitably made. Harris wasn’t too specific on how “fluid” things were yet, but let’s hope we hear something more substantial about a possible film from he and Vaughan soon and that another studio wants to take a crack at an adaptation with their close involvement.
Ex Machina is set in modern day New York, and it tells the story of Mitchell Hundred -also known as The Great Machine, a civil engineer that is granted the ability to communicate with and control different forms of technology by a mysterious alien device. Hundred uses his new found powers to become a super hero, saving lives but also making a few mistakes along the way. These mistakes come back as career obstacles when Hundred unmasks himself, and retires from vigilantism in order to begin his campaign for mayor of New York. The 54 issue series also dealt with potentially controversial topics like the September Eleventh Attacks, and same sex marriage. It garnered much critical acclaim, winning the Eisner award for best new series in 2005, in the same year New Line Cinema picked up the rights to produce a film adaptation of the story, but the project was caught in the development stage for many years and nothing was heard about the film for a long time.