Johnny Depp's REX MUNDI Is Still Alive, WB Hire Tron Legacy Writers

Johnny Depp has been trying to get an adaptation of Image and Dark Horse's comic series Rex Mundi made at Warner Bros seemingly forever, in fact I can trace back an early article I wrote for the site over four and a half years ago detailing WB's acquirement of the rights to writer Arvid Nelvson's work. But sometimes in Hollywood, even with the backing of a major Hollywood star, projects can stagnate and be bogged down by politics, scheduling and re-write after re-write, and even the most intriguing of pitches can be stuck in development hell. A 38 issue comic series, Rex Mundi (latin term meaning King of the World) was set in 1933 in an alternative history Europe where magic is real, feudalism ruled society and the Protestant Reformation had been ended by the all powerful Catholic church. Our lead is Rex Mundi, a pathologist "who investigates the mysterious death of the priest who found him as an orphan, a trail that ultimately leads to a quest for the Holy Grail". Originally adapted by Jim Uhls (Fight Club, Jumper) in 2006, WB had at least two revisions of his screenplay by 2008 but we've heard nothing much since about it and I had expected the project to enter turnaround, however according to an article in The Hollywood Reporter today, Depp and WB are taking another stab at bringing Rex Mundi to the big screen. Tron Legacy story contributors Brian Klugman and Lee Sternthal have been hired to write a fresh screenplay for an adaptation which will be produced by Depp's Infinitum Nihli shingle, which is interesting as Tron Legacy's director Joseph Kosinski is looking to get to work on his graphic novel adaptation of Oblivion, which he co-created with Rex Mundi's Arvid Nelson. Interestingly, there's no word that Depp wants to star this time and maybe the project has been gestating so long he's just lost interest in leading it? Which would be a shame, not least because anything that keeps him away from Jack Sparrow and Tim Burton has to be a positive thing - but also because Depp's likeness is clearly the inspired image for the lead character. Plus, we haven't seen him take on this kind of supernatural, investigate drama (at least I think that's what this is) since Polanski's The Ninth Gate in the late 90's.
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Matt Holmes is the co-founder of What Culture, formerly known as Obsessed With Film. He has been blogging about pop culture and entertainment since 2006 and has written over 10,000 articles.