Part one of Comics2Film's exclusive interview with Gianni Nunnari focused on the producer's current release '300'. The producer also talked to us about he hopes will be his follow up film, an adaptation of Frank Miller's classic graphic novel 'Ronin'.
The book tells the tale of a Japanese warrior, re-born in a dystopian future world to do battle with the demon that destroyed his life.
Nunnari is developing the film with director Sylvain White, who is currently developing a script with a writing partner.
White, who broke out as a director this year with the successful street-dance film 'Stomp the Yard'. With only one major theatrical release under his belt, White may seem like an unconventional choice to helm an ambitious science fiction action film. However Nunnari has every confidence.
"From the beginning nothing looks like the normal choice. It's very easy to judge things when the movie's done," Nunnari said. He likened the process to judge what kind of adult a child will be after he's taken his first steps.
"Sylvain is a successful commercial director. He turned a small movie into a big success," the producer said. The situation is not unlike that of '300' director Zack Snyder, who took on that epic film after scoring a hit with 'Dawn of the Dead.' That choice looks like a risk that's paid off.
"Sylvain has a precise vision, which is [like '300'], very respectful of the comic book," Nunnari said. "'Ronin' is a unique piece devoted to many styles of many classic movies, especially action movies. We are trying to keep the same style of the comic book of Frank and that's the way we would like to maintain the vision to the end."
Like '300' and 'Sin City', 'Ronin' will likely be filmed using a virtual sound stage and a computer-rendered set.
"We are recreating certain worlds. Sometimes the world is in the past. Sometimes the world is in the future. I think that that's a good way to keep the audience into the imaginary world of Frank Miller," said Nunnari. "We're going to use most of the same technicians, visual effects. We want to get it to another level, but we will try to keep the same style, through the lens of the director, but that's the way we'll try to do Ronin too."
'Ronin' isn't the only comic book material that Nunnari hopes to shepherd to the big screen.
At a recent press conference he discussed filming an adaptation of 'Ocean' a comics mini-series written by Warren Ellis and illustrated by Chris Sprouse. While the comic's creators own the property, it was published by DC Comics under the Wildstorm imprint.
However, Ellis expressed surprise over such talk was quick to issue a correction: "I imagine Mr. Nunnari was misheard, or misspoke and will correct himself shortly. No film company has ever attempted to purchase the media rights to 'Ocean', which are owned by Chris and myself," Ellis wrote at his website.
Ellis wasn't the only one taken aback by the situation. "In the same way he was surprised, we were surprised because we're dealing actually with the comic book houses," Nunnari said. He and partner Nick Wexler had been in conversation with DC Comics over the rights and is still hoping to strike a deal.
"We love 'Ocean.' We'd love to do it," Nunnari said. "It's up to him if he'd like to give it to us. My relationship is with DC Comics, and DC Comics I think they will try to make it happen. We'll try to get it and we'll try to start developing it."
Like many Hollywood producers, Nunnari sees great potential for adapting comics to film. He also has his eye on Grant Morrison's DC Comics mini-series 'Seven Soldiers of Victory', as well as several others that he couldn't mention.
"We have an entire room of graphic novels in the office, so you never know."