David Leitch is moving from the world of fast cars and crazy stunts to vampires, as the stuntman-turned-director has lined up his next high-profile gig. The Deadpool 2 director will take on an adaptation of the Image Comics series Undying Love, which is a horror/action spin on the vampire genre. This is a project that has been in development for several years, but finally appears to actually be happening with a new team in place.
According to a new report, David Leitch has signed on to helm Undying Love as his next project for Studio 8. Leitch most recently directed the upcoming Fast and Furious spin-off Hobbs & Shaw, which hits theaters on August 2. The plan is to get production going on this project before the end of the year. While Leitch finishes up his commitments on Hobbs & Shaw, that will give the studio time to prep everything behind the scenes for the comic book adaptation. If things go according to plan, Letich may not get much of a break between movies, but such is the nature of the business sometimes.
This project has an interesting history. Undying Love started life at Image Comics created by Tomm Coker and Daniel Freedman. The first issue was published in 2011 and the series ran for just four issues. That was enough to make it the subject of a bidding war between several studios in 2012, with Warner Bros. ultimately winning out. In the time since, filmmakers such as Alex Aja (Piranha 3D) and Joe Carnahan (The Grey) were attached. In that iteration, it never came together.
Now, it’s found new life with a filmmaker who has proven that he knows how to handle action very well in recent years. David Leitch co-directed the first John Wick, in addition to his solo directorial effort Atomic Blonde (also a comic book adaptation) and the blockbuster breakout Marvel Comics adaptation Deadpool 2. Point being, Leitch seems to have all of the tools and experience to make this work.
Undying Love is a horror-action tale that is equal parts vampire mythology and Chinese folklore, set in modern day Hong Kong. The story centers on an ex-soldier by the name of John Sargent who falls for a lovely Chinese woman, Mei. But there is one pesky thing getting in the way of their would-be love; Mei just so happens to be a vampire. In order to free Mei from her curse, Sargent sets out to destroy the vampire that turned her. That quest represents another issue, as Mei was turned by one of the most powerful vampires in history.
At the present time, there is no word on who may be eyed to star in the lead roles, but the script comes from Tommy Wirkola (Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, Dead Snow). The studio also hasn’t locked down a release date, but if production really does kick off before the end of 2019, late 2020 or early 2021 seems realistic. This news was first reported by Deadline.