Jeff Lemire's <i>Essex County</i> Moves Toward Big Screen As <i>Super Zero</i>

John Dykstra, visual effects supervisor for X-Men: First Class, will make his directorial debut with an adaptation of Jeff Lemire's acclaimed 2008 graphic novel Essex County: Tales From the Farm.

Variety reports that the live-action film, called Super Zero, will use extensive visual-effects sequences to tell the story of a recently orphaned 10-year-old boy named Lester who goes to live on his uncle's farm. As their relationship becomes increasingly strained, Lester befriends the town's hulking gas-station owner, a former professional hockey player, and they escape into a fantasy world of superheroes, alien invaders and old-fashioned pond hockey.

Super Zero is being developed by visual-effects company Rhythm & Hues Studios. John Carr wrote the screenplay, with Steven Gilder and Alec Chorches producing.

Gilder said the producers plan "to have a strong, hard push in these next weeks," looking for actors and lining up financiers and distributors before approaching a studio. They also hope to "make a big splash" next month Comic-Con International, where Lemire and publisher Top Shelf Productions will be in attendance.

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