Barry Josephson and Dan Gilroy Board Stan Lee’s Annihilator

It’s been announced that producer Barry Josephson, responsible for such diverse projects as Men in Black and Fox TV series Bones, has signed on to produce Annihilator, written by Bourne Legacy scribe Dan Gilroy and based on an original character created by none other than Stan “The Man” Lee.

Annihilator has been picked up by Magic Storm Entertainment, and, and according to the official press synopsis:

…tells the story of a young Chinese expatriate, Ming, who must choose between remaining in prison or enlist in a secret US super soldier program.  The program uses targeted genetic enhancements from various animal species.  Ming chooses to undergo this nearly fatal procedure and through his extreme resolve, gained as a result of his family’s tradition of practicing Qijong and martial arts, he survives. Now, armed with remarkable abilities, he must confront a former rival with his own set of enhanced faculties. Our reluctant hero is forced not only to face his personal demons, but also to defeat the villain who will destroy everything that he knows and loves.

In brief, Lee’s newest superhero creation seems like a cross between Wolverine and Bruce Lee. Whether or not the film can avoid pandering to stereotypes with its martial arts component remains to be seen.

In any case, Josephson said in a statement, “One of my dreams when I became a producer was to work with Stan Lee. Now with Dan Gilroy’s magnificent script, that will become a reality.”

Lee himself has added that, “Dan’s story and character is unlike anything I have developed before. So I wait with intrigue as we begin to reveal more details about the Annihilator franchise and to hear what audiences think as they immerse themselves into his world through the film.”

“Franchise” suggests that Lee and Co. feel the character has a lot of potential and with Josephson and Gilroy on-board, both of whom have experience with tent-pole series, maybe there’s something to said for writing your hero on spec. Who needs comic books when you can go straight to the big screen?

90 year-old Lee remains possibly the most beloved figure the superhero industry has ever produced and we promise you more on Annihilator as it develops.

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Robert Wallis

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