Tom Cruise and Sam Raimi are setting up an adaptation of DC/Wildstorm’s Sleeper at Warner Bros.
Cruise is “loosely attached” to star; Raimi will produce.
Sleeper, by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips, ran for two 12-issue “seasons” from 2003 to 2005. It centers on Holden Carver, a covert operative who fused with an alien artifact, making him impervious to pain and allowing him to pass it on to others through skin contact. Carver is placed undercover in a criminal organization, but loses his link to the outside world when his handler falls into a coma.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Warner Bros. is eyeing Sleeper as a potential franchise. However, considering the current legal wrangling over Watchmen, and Sleeper‘s connections to WildC.A.T.s and Gen13 — Hollywood deals involving both titles were set up before DC bought Wildstorm in 1999 — the studio “appears determined to cross all the t’s and dot all the i’s in its contracts.”
Update: MTV’s Splash Page talks with Brubaker about the announcement, and the potential legal entanglements:
One of the biggest concerns mentioned throughout today’s blog posts — in light of the recent “Watchmen” legal debacle — are the legal issues. Namely, in the “Sleeper” comics, characters from DC Comics’ Wildstorm universe show up, which could cause potential headaches. However, Brubaker assured fans that those problems have already been addressed and — despite Warner Bros. most likely triple-checking for any potential legal problems — shouldn’t delay production too long. “They’ll have to just figure it out and cut around some of the characters who appeard in other Wildstorm books, but this type of thing happens in Hollywood all the time.”