When Valiant Entertainment entered the comic industry in 1989, they burst onto the scene in a way many weren’t expecting. The company experienced tremendous growth, leaving a major mark in comics before going on to make a bigger mark in the world of video games.
And now, Valiant’s sights are set on making the same sort of impact in the world of film.
Valiant Entertainment CEO & Chief Creative Officer Dinesh Shamdasani spoke with CBR TV about company’s upcoming movie slate from the world famous CBR Tiki Room at WonderCon 2015 in Anaheim, CA. And although the interview took place before the company’s big announcement regarding confirmed films based on “Harbinger,” “Bloodshot” and “Harbinger Wars,” the company’s philosophy on how they will be approaching those films will remain the same: just like their approach to their comics.
“It’s a question of quality,” Shamdasani said. “We haven’t said a lot about them because we’re not the type of company that talks a lot about hype and hot air. We like to say, ‘Here’s what’s going to happen.’ For instance, ‘Bloodshot’ at Sony. That leaked and we had to play a little bit of catch up and make the announcement, but it was out of our hands. We want to build everything to be as good as it can be before we let the world in because we don’t want to give false expectations.”
Now seems to mark the perfect time for Valiant to venture into the entertainment industry, according to Shamdasani, as the tone of the current era of comic book films falls more in line with Valiant’s own publishing tone. “We saw the whole Avi Arad Era — you could say — of comic book movies and then it changed with [Christopher] Nolan and Batman, and Iron Man and the Kevin Feige Era is a different tone. It’s a more mature tone.”
However, that mature tone doesn’t come without its constraints — at least when it comes to Marvel and DC films. “Also, we’re not owned by a giant corporation. So, Marvel can’t do a Ghost Rider film — I’m assuming — or a Punisher film — I’m assuming — because of Disney,” he said, referencing the dark, violent nature of those characters and Disney’s more family-friendly tone. “We don’t have constraints. In fact, we look at it as an opportunity in that they’re constrained in these ways and we aren’t constrained in these ways. So we can tell the kinds of stories in film as we have in comics that they can’t tell.”
Shamdasani clarified, explaining that the tone of the Marvel films doesn’t always match the tone Marvel’s publishing division. “I love Ghost Rider and I love Punisher, and I’m hoping they do those films, but I’m wondering how much of Disney’s brand means that they have to marginalize those characters at the moment.”
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