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INTERVIEW: Joe Kelly Talks Adapting I Kill Giants for the Big Screen

by  in CBR Exclusives Comment
INTERVIEW: Joe Kelly Talks Adapting I Kill Giants for the Big Screen

WARNING: The following interview may contain spoilers for the I Kill Giants movie, in theaters and available via digital download now, and the Image Comics series which inspired it.


If you’ve never read Joe Kelly and J. M. Ken Niimura’s critically acclaimed comic I Kill Giants, you’re going to want to fix that, ASAP. Published by Image Comics and Man of Action in 2008, it tells the story of Barbara Thorson, a geeky, misfit middle-schooler, who’d rather be reading her Dungeon Master handbook than doing her math homework or taking part in P.E. Oh – and she hunts and kills giants in her spare time. At least, that’s what she tells her new friend, Sophia.

Kelly and Niimura’s series is the most recent comic to make the leap from printed page to a major motion picture. Directed by Academy Award winner Anders Walter, and starring Zoe Saldana, Imogen Poots, Madison Wolfe and Sydney Wade, its screenplay was written by Kelly himself. Ahead of the film’s release, CBR spoke with Kelly about I Kill Giants‘s journey from comic book to the silver screen, and how he kept his movie script true to the original story.

RELATED: I Kill Giants Film Adaptation Drops First Trailer.


CBR: How did you get involved with the project? Were you approached to write the script, or was this something you had already been working on?

Joe Kelly: I had written a draft of a film version of I Kill Giants immediately after completing the comic script. The story was burning for me, and I had to refine it and get it out. Originally, I thought it might make a nice spec script for something else.

Once the producers started asking about turning the book into a film, I had that script as a sample. More importantly, though, I told everyone I met that I was going to be the only person who touched the script. It’s that important to me, and I was willing to walk away rather than let anyone else write the film. Luckily, everyone saw that I knew how to write and that I was not an insane person to work with, and soon I had a small army of people protecting me and the story. It was amazing.

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