Working Title Films have picked up the rights to comics creators Kurt Busiek, Brent Anderson and Alex Ross’s graphic novel series Astro City. Deadline is reporting that writer Busiek gets first crack at the screenplay.
When it debuted in 1995, Astro City was hailed by critics as one of the best superhero comics to come along in a long time. With an ongoing series, a number of mini-series and one-shots, Astro City plotted the history of its titular city and its interactions with superheroes. Some stories focused on the heroes like Samaritan, The Hanged Man, The Apollo Elevenand The First Family and their exploits, while others focused on the city’s residents and how they cope with living in an environment that includes superpowered heroes and villains slugging it out on a regular basis.
Many of the characters were seen as analogs for famous superhero characters, such as Samaritan being a viewed as a stand-in for Superman. However, free from the corporate considerations that often straightjacket stories featuring those corporate-owned characters, Astro City is free to explore and deconstruct those archetypes.
Additionally, Busiek includes many place names that reference comic and pulp creators of the past. Binderbeck Plaza portmanteaus famous Captain Marvel’s writer and artist team Otto Binder and CC Beck. A section of town known as Kanewood is a tribute to Batman creator Bob Kane.
Busiek writes the series, Anderson illustrates and Ross contributes covers and character designs.