Universal is on “Fire.”
The studio has picked up the rights to the graphic novel by Brian Michael Bendis. Zac Efron is attached to star and will exec produce with his manager, Jason Barrett.
Neal Moritz is producing with David Engel of Circle of Confusion, the company that reps Bendis.
Written and drawn by Bendis before he went on to become one of Marvel Comics’ top writers, the story centers on a college student who is inducted into a special CIA project that tests whether training ordinary citizens to be agents can be successful.
The move puts Efron, who is also repped by CAA, and Bendis back with Universal. Efron is coming off of starring in the Burr Steers drama “The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud,” while Bendis has an adaptation of his graphic novel “Jinx” set up at the studio.
Description of the graphic novel from Wikipedia
The story, a spy thriller, is centered on a young Jewish-American man named Benjamin "Ben" Furst, who is initially introduced as a college student studying political science. After passing several tests, including a fake mugging, he is recruited by a beautiful young woman named D. D. into the Central Intelligence Agency and told that he is going to be the first agent of Project Fire (hence the title of the comic), an experiment to test whether training agents out of ordinary citizens can be successful.
Ben passes and becomes an agent under the command of Linda Dagger. He is placed in England to pose as a journalist named Jake Donaldson, and he is dispatched from time-to-time to set up assassinations in places around the world ranging from Japan to Brazil. He gradually becomes disillusioned with his lifestyle and job, and he begins to suspect that he is being set-up himself.
One day, D. D., who had previously always treated him coldly, has sex with him. When Ben wakes up the next day, he is attacked by contract killers; Ben kills them and then breaks into CIA headquarters. He discovers that Project Fire is not a new experimental project, but rather something that has been going on for years; each such Project Fire agent is killed once the agent's superiors decide he has become a liability. Ben attempts to escape with the information, but he is captured by Linda Dagger.
Dagger sends D. D. to kill Ben, but Ben kills D. D. instead and escapes. He tries to send the information he has to a journalist to publicize, but before he can, at the end of the comic, Dagger finds him again and informs him that he either works for her or dies.