Though Jupiter’s Legacy has been canceled, Netflix is still in the Mark Millar business. Instead of adapting an existing Millar comic to the screen, however, the company has worked up a new project in-house with the creator. King of Spies is billed as a “graphic novel translation of [an] original Netflix property.” The title will pair Millar with an as-yet-unnamed superstar comic book artist for an all-new story, which centers on Britain’s greatest secret agent.
James Bond? No. Sir Roland King.
Though the first images of the character do paint him as an older version of the late Sean Connery.
With his comic book runs in the 2000s on titles like The Ultimates, Civil War, and Old Man Logan, Millar helped lay the groundwork for future Marvel movies such as The Avengers, Captain America: Civil War, and Logan. His creator-owned Millarworld comic line has also become a viable movie imprint, spinning out the likes of Wanted, Kick-Ass, Kingsman, and several other upcoming films. Kingsman has a new spin-off, The Kings Man, coming later this year, and if it and King of Spies are any indication, then Millar is quite enamored of telling stories in the spy world with the word “king” in the title.
King of Spies Details and First Images
The announcement of King of Spies comes with two first-look images, which you can see above and below. This is just early concept art by Ozgur Yildirim and Mark Chiarello. A different artist will handle the actual interiors of the graphic novel. The official synopsis for King of Spies is as follows:
In King of Spies, Britain’s greatest secret agent faces his deadliest enemy yet – his own mortality. Diagnosed with a brain tumour and six months to live, the retired Sir Roland King looks around at the world he’s saved so many times and feels he can’t leave us in such a mess. There’s greed and corruption at every level, untouchable despots he was forbidden to go near and a system he just doesn’t believe in any more. He wants to use his remaining time to make a difference with his particular set of skills, and repair the damage he did in his private life at the same time. The most dangerous man in the world has gone rogue and he knows where all the bodies are buried. Now it’s time to go after the REAL monsters…
Note the word usage there: “particular set of skills.” It’s a nod to a quote from Taken, Liam Neeson’s 2008 dad-movie actioner. Millar himself had a lot to say about the development of King of Spies:
“We’ve been quietly working on this for a couple of years in-house and we’re all buzzing about it. The spy world was very good to us with Kingsman and a return to the genre had to be something special. This is that project. I love stories about an old gun-fighter back for one last job and this is the Granddaddy of them all. It’s so incredibly violent and emotional, but really fun too. I can’t wait for people to see it and wanted to share a couple of the images we’ve been putting together for the comic-book side of the project. These aren’t from the artist we later chose for the book, but they’re so good we wanted you to see them. The first is by the amazing Ozgur Yildirim, whom I’m an enormous fan of, and the second is by Mark Chiarello, who’s an absolute genius. Mark was DC’s art director until very recently and I love this old school spy paperback vibe he’s brought to this. We’re really, really excited about this and will release the name of the stellar comic-book artist we’ve hired a little down the line.”
Netflix is clearly hoping to mine a new movie or TV project out of King of Spies, and one can well imagine it attracting another middle-aged dramatic actor looking to reinvent himself as an action star à la Neeson, Kevin Costner, Sean Penn, or Bob Odenkirk. The operative question is whether this property will be able to land with more success than the ill-fated Jupiter’s Legacy.
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