J. Michael Straczynski’s ‘Rising Stars’ Will Finally Be a Movie

One of the few great superhero comics that didn’t already have a movie deal finally has a movie deal: Rising Stars, created by J. Michael Straczynski, has been optioned by MGM.

J. Michael Straczynski has worked his way into the hearts of geeks everywhere, thanks to his cult hit TV series Babylon 5 and his work on the beloved animated series The Real Ghostbusters. But in 1999 he struck out to reinvent the superhero genre with Rising Stars, an ambitious and popular comic book series about 113 children born with superpowers in the wake of a meteor strike, who grow up and discover that when one of them dies, the rest become more powerful.

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The series played out at the publisher Top Cow (and eventually under J. Michael Straczynski’s own imprint, Joe’s Comics) over the course of six years, and suffered from multiple delays. One such delay lasted three whole years, and came after Straczynski discovered that a Rising Stars movie was in development, and that he was being left out of the creative process.

Top Cow eventually smoothed things over with Straczynski, but that movie obviously never happened, and despite the enormous surge in the popularity of the superhero movie genre a Rising Stars adaptation hasn’t been hot on anybody’s lips for about a decade or so.

Deadline reports that that J. Michael Straczynski will write the screenplay for the adaptation. No word yet on who might direct or star in the Rising Stars movie, or how many films MGM expects to make out of the series, which took place over many years and featured well over one hundred characters.

Top Picture: Top Cow

William Bibbiani (everyone calls him ‘Bibbs’) is Crave’s film content editor and critic. You can hear him every week on The B-Movies Podcast and Canceled Too Soon, and watch him on the weekly YouTube series Most Craved, Rapid Reviews and What the Flick. Follow his rantings on Twitter at @WilliamBibbiani.