F. Gary Gray to direct graphic novel adaptation

Mandalay Pictures has acquired bigscreen rights to the Oni Press graphic novel “Julius.”

F. Gary Gray is attached to direct.

Written by Antony Johnston and illustrated by Brett Weldele, “Julius” is a contempo urban crime adaptation of William Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar.”

Mandalay prexy Cathy Schulman said that Gray “has a vision for this adaptation that will satirize obsessive consumerism while providing a thrilling ride for audiences.”

Eric Gitter of Closed on Mondays Entertainment, the producing arm of Oni Press, will produce; Oni’s Peter Schwerin and Joe Nozemack exec produce. Schulman, David Zelon and Jonathan Krauss will oversee the project for Mandalay.

“Julius” is the latest Oni project to be set up for the bigscreen. Other titles in various stages of development include “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World,” currently in pre-production with Edgar Wright helming and Michael Cera starring, at Universal; “Resurrection” at U; “Courtney Crumrin and the Night Things” and “The Damned” at DreamWorks; and “Maintenance” and “Billy Smoke” at Warner Bros.

Mandalay’s upcoming slate includes Universal’s “The Birds,” to be directed by Martin Campbell and star Naomi Watts; and Werner Herzog’s “The Piano Tuner” for Focus Features.

Gray’s directing credits include “The Italian Job” and “The Negotiator.”

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