Vin Diesel has closed his deal to take the lead role in the adaptation of the Valiant comic book “Bloodshot” for Sony Pictures, TheWrap has confirmed. TheWrap first exclusively reported Diesel was in talks to star back in January.
The studio will start principal photography in July. The film will also reunite Diesel with “Fast and the Furious” mega-producer Neal Moritz, who is producing alongside Valiant’s Dinesh Shamdasani. This is the first time that Moritz and Diesel have worked together outside of the “Fast and Furious” franchise.
Dave Wilson, who is “Deadpool” director Tim Miller’s partner at Blur Studios, is attached to direct.
“Bloodshot” is about a mortally wounded soldier resurrected with cutting-edge nanotechnology and tasked with rounding up super-powered outcasts known as “harbingers.” “Bloodshot” was created by Kevin Van Hook, Don Perlin and Bob Layton in 1992.
“Bloodshot” over its comic book run amassed 110 issues of comics with over 7.5 million copies sold. Valiant’s library is truly one of the great and as-yet untapped wells of intellectual property. The publisher’s bench of more than 2,000 superhero characters (with lifetime sales of more than 80 million copies) makes it the third largest library of superheroes behind Marvel and DC — and the only one not currently owned by a major conglomerate. Valiant’s comic books are the best-reviewed books over the past five years; “Bloodshot” in particular has been honored with numerous critics’ awards.
According to insiders, Sony and Wilson plan to follow in the footsteps of the recent success of “Logan” and “Deadpool” with an R-rated take on the comic adaptation that will be tonally and aesthetically influenced by high-concept, sci-fi blockbusters of the late ’80s including “Robocop,” “Terminator” and “Total Recall.”
“Bloodshot” will be a return to Diesel’s roots — he launched to international fame as a hard-hitting action star in “xXx” and “Pitch Black” before locking into “The Fast and the Furious” series. Diesel was also 2017’s top-grossing actor at the box office. According to Forbes, Diesel topped the list with $1.6 billion in global ticketing receipts, thanks to the success of “xXx: The Return of Xander Cage” and “Fate of the Furious.”
Diesel is now locking down a superhero franchise to call his own — one that Sony is targeting as a hard-R, big-budget tentpole for 2019.
Diesel is repped by CAA.