A live-action series adaptation of writer and illustrator Hugo Pratt's Corto Maltese graphic novel series is in development, with Frank Miller (Sin City) to be its creator, writer and executive producer, Deadline reported. In conjunction with Canal+, Studiocanal will develop six hour-long episodes.
Jemma Rodgers (The Railway Children Return) is the project's executive producer, along with Silenn Thomas, CEO of Frank Miller Ink. Overseeing VFX is Phil Tippett, whose work includes the Star Wars and Jurassic Park franchises and Willow.
"I first discovered Corto Maltese reading the books at Forbidden Planet in New York as a young man," Miller said. "Then on my travels, I studied and discovered an edition at a newsstand in Rome. The artwork was so expressive and so bold that it leapt off the newsprint. It swept me away. It was full of magic and romantic adventure. Maltese is a rascal who could talk to the gods. To me it showed off the power of the comic where language is not much of a barrier. I have been a Corto Maltese fan ever since. This is the hero's journey in its most classic form, and I couldn't be more honored to help bring into this series the romanticism, heroism, and underlying mysticism of Pratt's creation."
Patrizia Zanotti, a collaborator of Pratt, who died in 1996, commented: "Hugo Pratt appreciated Frank Miller's work from the very beginning so much so that he published him in the Corto Maltese magazine in 1988. Pratt like Miller are students of American classic cartooning like Milton Caniff with their use of shadows, dramatic inks and bold brush work. Who better to reinterpret Hugo Pratt's world than Frank Miller after all the characters and worlds the legendary creator has brought to us? Pratt would be thrilled to see his character Corto Maltese revived through an author who has the extraordinary ability to carry on timeless myths introducing iconic characters to new generations. Pratt has said through one of his characters that 'nothing is written that cannot be rewritten.' I believe that no one else other than Frank Miller could interpret the creative impulse inherent in this phrase."