I would have bet dollars to donuts that after 2011’s Attack the Block, breakout writer/director Joe Cornish would go on to become Hollywood’s next big thing. And for a while it looked like that’s exactly what would happen as he co-wrote Steven Spielberg’s The Adventures of Tintin and Edgar Wright’s Ant-Man, and had a couple of big budget directing gigs lined up like an adaptation of classic cyberpunk novel Snowcrash. But then, for one reason or another, all Cornish’s projects either got cancelled or fell apart under the Hollywood studio grind, making him very careful about picking jobs. The result is that a decade later, the British filmmaker only has a single other credit to his name in 2019’s family fantasy adventure, The Kid Who Would Be King. Well, Cornish is about to double his output of the last decade as he’s now officially signed on to adapt Mark Millar’s Starlight to the big screen.
Deadline were the first to report that Cornish would both direct and pen the screenplay for the production that had been kicking around the 20th Century Fox lot for a while (it was optioned even before its publication, and back in 2017 rumours attached Sylvester Stallone as the lead). Now under its Disney-owned-and-rebranded 20th Century Studios monniker, the film is finally coming together.
Released in 2014 by Image Comics and penned by Millar with art by Goran Parlov, Starlight is a swashbuckling Flash Gordon-esque space adventure that follows an erstwhile universe-saving hero who gets his peaceful twilight years interrupted by one last hurrah of a space mission. Here’s the official synopsis:
Forty years ago, Duke McQueen saved an alien world from destruction. Back on earth, nobody believed his story. Now his kids are grown, his wife has passed on, and life has little to offer. Until the day a strange boy from the world he once saved makes an appearance, coaxing Duke to join him on one last adventure. Can Duke handle the leap from has-been to hero?
Starlight was very well received when it was written, with a few reviews calling it the best work of Millar’s career at the time. I actually read the first few issues when it was first published and really enjoyed it, although I never stuck around long enough to see how the story plays out. I think I should revisit it now. It’s just a six-issue miniseries, so a nice and short read. What also made Starlight rather memorable is that it was the very first title launched as part of Millar’s Millarworld comic book imprint, which was the banner under which all his creator-owned work appears.
As for Millar, he’s essentially become the Stephen King of comic books over the years as more and more of his books either got adapted straight to screen or inspired some major productions. These include Wanted, Kick-Ass, Kingsman: The Secret Service, Old Man Logan, Civil War, The Ultimates, and now, more recently, Jupiter’s Legacy. Although it’s still very early in development, there’s no indication just when Cornish plans to star work on Starlight (his schedule is pretty clear though), so we can probably expect a few more Millar adaptations between then as well.
Last Updated: April 14, 2021