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A few months ago, there were murmurs that actor Vin Diesel was in talks to play the title role in Sony Pictures’ BLOODSHOT, which will kick off their Valiant Expanded Universe. The Tracking Board can now confirm that Diesel will play Ray Garrison, who is brought back to life using nanotechnology by Rising Spirit Technologies, which causes total memory loss. With the help of a group of similarly-enhanced soldiers, Ray tries to come to terms with his new life.
Bloodshot will reunite Diesel with his Fast and the Furious producer Neal Moritz, who is producing the film with Toby Jaffe and Dinesh Shamdasani. Exec producers are Matthew Vaughn and Dan Mintz, while Andrea Giannetti will oversee the project for Sony.
Bloodshot was created by Kevin VanHook and Yvel Guichet as part of a second wave of Valiant Comics after the company created by Jim Shooter helped revive many of the old Gold Key superheroes from the ’50s. Originally, the character was the alter ego of Angelo Mortalli, a mob hitman framed for murder who becomes the subject of that secret experiment to give him superhuman powers using nanotechnology. There have been 110 issues of the various Bloodshot iterations over the years that have sold 7.5 million copies tota.
Jeff Wadlow (Kick-Ass 2) wrote an early draft of the script back when he was going to direct the movie, but Arrival screenwriter Eric Heisserer wrote the most recent script that will be used for the film. (Heisserer also wrote the recent Secret Weapons limited series for Valiant Comics.)
It’s said that the film will be a throwback to popular ’80s sci-fi films like Robocop and The Terminator. Sony is also developing a movie based on Shooter’s original Valiant Comics flagship title Harbinger.
At one point, it was rumored that Jared Leto was in talks for the lead role, but Diesel certainly has more of the build and characteristics one might expect based on the character in the comics. Diesel has also been looking for a superhero property of his own after voicing Groot in Marvel’s two Guardians of the Galaxy movies.
John Wick directors Chad Stahelski and David Leitch were once attached to direct Bloodshot, but then first-time director Dave Wilson came on board to make Bloodshot his debut. Wilson is a creative director and visual FX animator at Blur Studio, the company co-founded by Deadpool director Tim Miller, where Wilson created animated shorts. (The irony of course is that Leitch went on to direct Deadpool 2 after exiting Bloodshot.)
In some ways, the Valiant Universe is one with a lot of potential from its almost 30 years of publishing, including a brief foray under Acclaim Entertainment when they bought Valiant, but then went bankrupt.
With his roles in last year’s Fate of the Furious, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and xXx: Return of Xander Cage, Diesel became one of the top-grossing stars of 2017, although his Fast and Furious co-star Dwayne Johnson probably pulled ahead of him with the help of Jumanji‘s success going into 2018.
Plans are to start filming in July, so one presumes Diesel’s next Fast and Furious movie will follow in order to make its April 2020 released ate.
Diesel being in talks for Bloodshot was first reported by the Wrap in January and then Deadline added to this story.
Edward Douglas | East Coast Editor