After his Disney animated short film Feast won Best Animated Short Subject at the Annie Awards and Best Animated Short Film at the Academy Awards, Patrick Osborne quickly became a sought-after director in many areas of Hollywood, and this latest news proves this point even more.
Courtesy of Comic Book Resources and stemming from a report by The Tracking Board, Paramount Pictures signed Osborne on to direct an adaptation of Battling Boy, a superhero graphic novel from Eisner-Award winning writer and artist Paul Pope.
Osborne indirectly confirmed his involvement with the project on his Twitter page, retweeting the article and thanking fellow animator Ian Brauner for introducing him to the book.
The project itself was in development for quite some time, going back to when Paramount first optioned the film rights to the graphic novel in 2008 (five years before it was released in 2013). David Gordon Green and Josh Parkinson co-wrote the latest draft of the screenplay, following treatments from John Gatins and Alex Tse. Currently the studio is working to lock down a new writer, aiming for a comedic approach and ‘punk rock’ vibe (which is pretty accurate to the book itself).
Battling Boy is set in the monster-infested world of Acropolis, where demonic forces took hold of the city following the death of legendary hero Haggard West. In the ensuing chaos, a thirteen-year-old demigod is sent down by his superhero father (a Thor-type figure) to protect Acropolis as part of his rite of passage. Armed with a variety of magical T-shirts that grant him multiple powers, he attempts to navigate the messy politics of hero fame as he tries to save the city (with occasional help from Haggard’s daughter Aurora West).
Brad Pitt is still reported to be attached to the film via his Plan B production banner. Eban Davidson, Andrew Calof, and Peter Kang will oversee for Paramount.
This news comes just a month after Osborne was signed on to direct an animated adaptation of Noelle Stevenson’s webcomic Nimona for Fox Animation. It is understood that Osborne may do Nimona first before tackling Battling Boy. Nimona will serve as his feature length debut and his feature animation debut, while Battling Boy might serve as his live-action debut.
Seeing as how his first major director gigs lean very heavily toward genre and genre mash-up in particular, Battling Boy should be right up Osborne’s alley. The graphic novel itself is light on story and heavy on loud action, insane visuals, and colorful designs. Battling Boy is also the first in a series, with a second volume set to come out soon and an accompanying series centered around the West family (The Death of Haggard West, The Rise of Aurora West, The Fall of the House of West). So, should Osborne and Paramount nail this one out the gate, there’s definitely room to pursue a franchise.
Osborne’s next short film, Pearl, is currently in production for the Google Spotlight Stories app (now available on iOS devices).
Battling Boy is now available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and your nearest comic book shop.
What do you think? Are you interested in Battling Boy?
Edited by: Hannah Wilkes