Valiant's Archer & Armstrong Heading to Big Screen

Valiant's Archer & Armstrong Heading to Big Screen

Archer and Armstrong

Valiant partners with Sean Daniel Company to bring hit buddy comic to movie theaters.

With all the talk these days about the Marvel and DC's respective cinematic universes, it's easy to forget about other comic books ripe for the Hollywood treatment. Take Valiant Entertainment's popular odd couple, Archer & Armstrong, featuring a sheltered religious zealot with a knack for martial arts and the centuries-old drunken immortal he was raised to defeat. The duo's globe-trotting antics and adventures proved to be one of Valiant's most popular comic series. Now, Archer & Armstrong are heading to Hollywood.

Last week, rumors first started to circulate that Valiant was looking to fast track Archer & Armstrong into film development. Earlier today, The Hollywood Reporter reported that the publisher had officially signed a deal with the Sean Daniel Company to produce the project, based on a script by BenDavid Grabinski (Cost of Living, Machinima's Enormous web series) . Valiant CEO, Dinesh Shamdasani, will act as a producer on the feature, alongside Sean Daniel and Jason Brown.

"There's a reason comic fans have loved Archer & Armstrong and have treasured these characters and their legacy," Daniel told THR, calling the current series "some of the funniest material you'll read in any format."

Archer & Armstrong isn't the only title Valiant is currently planning to bring to the big screen. Valiant also has films in development based on its Shadowman and Bloodshot comics. Shadowman is in development with the Sean Daniel Company, based off a script by J. Michael Straczynski, and Bloodshot is currently set up at Sony with Matthew Vaughn (Kick-Ass) attached and a script by Jeff Wadlow (Kick-Ass 2, X-Force).

Source: THR (H/t to Badass Digest)


Sounds cool, but I'm not sure if they would translate well into a movie as part of the humor is the fact that it's a comic and it plays off some of the tropes of the time, and things going on elsewhere in the Image universe. It's sort of like "Gen 13" (Wildstorm) which is one of my favorite humor/satire comics, while on the surface it seems like something that would work on it's own, really when you get down to what made it popular and the actual gags that made it funny, you kind of had to be reading comics, and part of the joke was that "Wildstorm" was on a lot of levels at the forefront of the whole "Extreme" comics thing with titles like "Wild C.A.T.S.", "Stormwatch", and of course "The Authority". Characters, concepts, and plot elements from these other titles bleeding into "Gen-13", to really get the full impact of why some of the friendly dialogue between say Caitlin Fairchild and Majestic is beyond merely "cute" and actually becomes funny for example, you need to know something about Majestic and the fairly serious (sometimes over serious) titles he's from, as well as comics in general to understand what he's the generally arrogant and "extreme" version of from other company's comics (and understand also DC wound up owning Wildstorm which meant they could get fairly meta with their jokes at times). It's been a long time, but without the full package behind it, the antics of "Archer and Armstrong" seem like they would lose something as a lot of it turns into fairly predictable comedy/jokes (like Archer calmly writing in his journal with carefully stated prose as Armstrong is brawling with a bunch of dudes right next to him).... context matters, and I do not think just tossing a movie out there can give it the needed context. For that matter I don't think you could even pull this off with "Avengers" level continuity and have it work like it did in the comics... maybe with the next generation of interweaving after this one if such a thing happens.

This is all just my opinion though. Still it is pretty cool to see them making the attempt, and I'll probably give it a look if the movie seems half way decent. I'm expecting this to wind up more along the lines of a "Doctor Mordrid" than one of Marvel's more recent blockbusters.

I hope that Bloodshot and Archer & Armstrong are being produced only because they're set in the modern world and would be reasonably cheap from a special effects standpoint.

Bloodshot is basically a third-string 90's Deathstroke. I'd much rather see X-O Manowar or Harbinger brought to the big screen. If the first two movies make their money back, maybe there's a chance?


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