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Dimension marvels at ‘Dagger’

Comics scribe Tischman to pen pic

Dimension Films has closed a deal with Marvel Studios to turn the Marvel comic “Cloak and Dagger” into a live-action feature.

The film will be scripted by David Tischman, who’s making a shift from writing such Marvel and DC Comics as “Mutant X” and graphic novels that include “Son of Superman” and “Secret Society of Super Heroes.”

“Cloak and Dagger,” which debuted in summer 1985, focused on an odd couple of teen runaways. One’s a rich white girl, the other a streetwise black male. He’s able to project a terrifying, all-encompassing darkness, while she’s capable of generating a blinding bright light. They become vigilantes who protect other kids on the streets from urban corruption.

The film will be produced by Marvel Studios president Avi Arad and Rick Alexander, who’s producing with Jon Jashni a new version of “Conan the Barbarian” for Warner Bros. that’s being scripted by John Milius. Kevin Feige is exec producer.

“I compare ‘Cloak and Dagger’ with ‘Blade,’ in that they aren’t the most high-profile Marvel properties, but audiences will identify with them,” Arad said. “This will be an action-packed, exciting movie.”

After a corporate restructuring, Marvel is holding a hot hand in Hollywood, with a Bryan Singer-directed “X-Men” sequel in the works at Fox, Ang Lee prepping “The Incredible Hulk” at Universal, Sam Raimi directing Tobey Maguire in “Spider-Man” at Sony and “Blade 2” in production with Wesley Snipes at New Line.

“Cloak and Dagger” went out of print but was fished from obscurity by Alexander and Tischman, who were fans of the material and got Marvel’s Arad excited about its movie potential. Aside from his comics writing, Tischman knocked around Hollywood as a development exec before moving into screenwriter mode.

Dimension co-chair Bob Weinstein now has his third Marvel project in the studio fold, this one brought in by execs Michael Helfant and Andrew Gumpert, with Brad Weston and Jesse Berdinka overseeing development.

Dimension is developing “Ghost Rider” with scripter David Goyer and “Blade” director Steve Norrington. Dimension also plans to turn the Marvel comic “Werewolf by Night” into a live-action feature.