Graphic novel “Under,” about mutant creatures lurking in the sewers beneath a major U.S. metropolis, is coming to the big screen, with Franco-Belgian comics powerhouse Media Participations Group, Titan Comics, and U.K. producer Born Wild bringing the project to life.
“Under” was created by prolific French writer Christophe Bec and his regular illustrator and collaborator, Stefano Raffaele. It is published by Le Lombard, which sits within Media Participations Group’s stable of comic book publishers alongside the likes of Dargaud, and is represented by Mediatoon.
Set in the near future in the city’s vast sewer complex, which have become a war zone complete with mutant spiders and crocodiles, disgraced former detective Jericho leads a subterranean police force attempting to preserve a semblance of order. Sandra Yeatman, a young female scientist, embeds herself with Jericho’s team, to his disdain, and they battle to stop the underwater carnage from spreading above ground.
Anthony Alleyne, whose “Sunburn” recently played at the London Screenings, will adapt the action-sci-fi project with up-and-coming writer Brennig Hayden. Alleyne will also produce the movie through Born Wild. Laurent Duvault of Mediatoon, Kristian van der Heyden of Harald House and Annemiek van der Hell of Windmill Film are all confirmed co-producers. Raymond Van der Kaaij of Revolver is also on board as executive producer. The budget is €8 million ($9.3 million).
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“It’s exciting to collaborate with tireless and tenacious creatives like Alleyne,” Bec and Raffaele said. “’Under’ is a story which is close to our hearts, and it was his and Brennig’s strong vision of blending the spirit of our original work with contemporary social elements that won us over.”
“Anthony is clear about what he wants to do with the property, which is to establish a powerful franchise we are proud to be part of,” Duvault added.
The comics launched in France in 2010, with English-language versions following late last year. The plan is to shoot the film in late 2019. Nick Landau, Owner of Titan Entertainment Group, said: “‘Under’ is highly relevant to the world we live in, and is really going to surprise people.”
Titan will officially announce the project Thursday at the San Diego Comic-Con panel session for its English-language imprint Statix Press.