UPDATED: Thunder Road Pictures, Entertainment 360, and Nickel City Productions have partnered to produce “Naja,” a big-screen adaptation of the acclaimed French graphic novel, Variety has learned. Telepool will executive produce.
Thunder Road optioned the graphic novel. J. P. Davis (“The Neighbor”) is writing. Cedric Nicolas-Troyan (“The Huntsman: Winter’s War”) will direct.
“Naja” centers on a beautiful assassin, who is all the more deadly because she is unable to register pain. Her mercenary ways get upended after she finds herself targeted by contract killers. The story is said to be in the vein of action hits such as “Lucy,” “Le Femme Nikita,” and “John Wick.”
“Naja” was written by Jean-David Morvan and illustrated by Bengal. It was published in France by Dargaud, whose roster of properties includes “Valerian,” the graphic novel currently getting the big-screen treatment from Luc Besson. Magnetic Press published “Naja” in the U.S.
The deal was negotiated by Laurent Duvault from Mediatoon-Dargaud, as well as Jim Ehrich from Rothman & Brecher Agency and Tal Vigderson.
Duvault, who participated in the panel “Shoot the Book” along with other French publishing executives during AFM over the weekend, pointed out he also recently sold the rights to another graphic novel franchise, “Thorgal,” an epic fantasy saga created by Jean Van Hamme. A live-action feature adaptation is being developed by Pergamon Film, the joint venture between Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck (“The Lives of Others”) and Jan Mojto at Beta Film.
Davis and Nicolas-Troyan are both represented by Management 360 and CAA