I am almost loathe to post this because it seems that, since the release of Avatar, there’s a rumor a week concerning the next project that Sam Worthington is going to take. However, only one of those rumors originated with us (via The Hollywood Cog), and that project — The Fields, to be directed by Michael Mann’s daugther, Ami — was confirmed a few weeks ago. Moreover, in recent weeks, The Hollywood Cog has been on a wicked streak, after Natalie Portman’s Best Buds project, Guy Ritchie’s Excalibur project, Dustin Lance Black’s Edgar J. Hoover project, and David O. Russell’s involvement in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies have all been confirmed by reps of those high-profile projects.
So, when the Hollywood Cog lets me know that Sam Worthington has signed on to another project, I’m inclined to believe him or her. Even if it’s not necessarily something I’d like to believe. And while Worthington does have some other projects tentatively lined up, he doesn’t yet have his own franchise (unless you count Avatar, which is really James Cameron’s franchise). The project in question is Dan Dare: Pilot of the Future, a British sci-fi comic property acquired by Virgin Comics (and Richard Branson) a few years ago. Dan Dare has been around in comic strips since 1950; created by Frank Hampson, he’s also the most successful comic property in the history of the UK. He’s often described as the British Buck Rogers and is meant to look like the British Army type, which actually seems to suit Worthington (except for Worthington being Austrialian). He’s the “chief pilot of the Interplanet Space Fleet,” and though he’s not quite a super hero (he’s got no super powers), he’s supposed to be all kinds of bad ass. Like, he totally knows jiu jitsu.
The idea, when Branson acquired the rights, was to relaunch the character first in the comics, bringing Garth Ennis aboard to create a darker version of Dan Dare. (Ennis also has two other comic properties currently in development: Preacher and The Boys.) Once revived, the plan was then to create a film out of the property. That project has been slow to develop, but now that Warner Brothers has picked it up and signed Worthington, the chips should begin to fall in place.
To be sure, there’s still neither a writer nor director attached, but the search is currently on. It’s a priority project for the Brothers Warner. However, while Worthington is only officially attached to two other projects, his name has been mentioned in connection to enough other movies to keep him busy for the rest of the decade. We’ll have to wait and see where Dan Dare falls in the queue.