Frank Miller’s works are ubiquitous. Without his creative superhero comics, we wouldn’t have 2003’s Daredevil movie or Matt Reeves’ The Batman. His passion project, Sin City, speaks for itself (for better or worse). But the iconic creator isn’t stopping at just comic books and movies. He’s now venturing into the world of television, and while it’s still a comic adaptation, it’s not based on his own work. That’s a new challenge for Miller, but he may have found the perfect collaborator for this ambitious project.
Deadline reports that Frank Miller will be the creator, writer, and executive producer for a live-action adaptation of the European comic Corto Maltese, created by Italian illustrator Hugo Pratt in 1967. The hit series follows a seafaring hero as he sails the oceans and encounters literary characters. It ran until 1989, and in 2014 it continued under a new writer and illustrator.
“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,” Miller told Deadline.
But perhaps the most interesting element here is that Miller will be teaming up with Phil Tippett, who will oversee VFX for the series. Tippett is a giant in the world of visual effects, with credits on Jurassic Park, Star Wars, and RoboCop. You’ve definitely seen his work, and you may recognize his name because his credit as “Dinosaur Supervisor” on Jurassic Park sparked a meme (“C’mon Pete, you had one job! People died!”).
Considering Corto Maltese is a live-action series, you can probably expect some truly epic creature design from Tippett. While working at Industrial Light & Magic, he developed the “go-motion” technique that combined stop-motion with motion blur to create realistic practical effects. It’s this technology that made him invaluable, especially with creature scenes.
We may be living in the age of CGI and visual effects, but Phil Tippett is marrying the old techniques with the new. However the show turns out, we won’t get some bland CGI-fest; his involvement means that Frank Miller isn’t letting go of his trademark sense of spectacle, even in a seafaring adventure story. With Miller’s eye for thrilling stories and Tippett’s visual effect talent, this may become another comic adaptation for the history books.