Rodriguez brings comicbook to bigscreen

Dimension Films has made a deal to turn the Michael Allred-created comicbook “Madman” into a live-action film.

George Huang (“Swimming With Sharks”) will direct a script he’ll pen with Allred. Robert Rodriguez and Elizabeth Avellan will produce via their Troublemaker Studios banner.

“Madman” is a post-modernist reimagining of the Frankenstein tale, with a superhero twist. Title character, killed in a car accident, is reanimated by an eccentric doc who names him Frank Einstein and instills in him enhanced senses, psychic power and exceptional physical skills. The doc can’t fix his creature’s face, so Madman wears a costume modeled after his fave superhero to hide his scars.

Project, spearheaded by Dimension co-chairman Bob Weinstein and production prexy Richard Saperstein, will follow a template similar to “Sin City,” which Troublemaker produced and Rodriguez directed with creator Frank Miller for Dimension.

As with that film, the creative behind the comicbook is an active part of the creative process. And, like “Sin City,” “Madman” will be shot entirely at Rodriguez’s Troublemaker Studios in Texas.

Rodriguez, who’s readying a “Sin City” sequel, has wrapped “Planet Terror,” his half of Dimension Films’ “Grindhouse,” to be released April 6. Quentin Tarantino, who’s directing the other half, “Death Proof,” will finish shooting in January.

Rodriguez has been trying to adapt the “Madman” comic for several years and felt the creative combination was the right one. He and Huang have known each other since Rodriguez’s debut film, “El Mariachi,” landed at Columbia and Huang worked at the studio. Huang was a creative consultant on Rodriguez’s “Spy Kids 3.”

“George has always had a really great grasp of the books, and Michael is just about the coolest guy you’ll ever meet,” Rodriguez said. “His Madman comics are nothing short of visionary.”

Allred, who created props for “Planet Terror,” is launching new series “Madman Atomic Comics” through Image Comics.

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