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New Line Bears "Cross"

by Dan Cox and Monica Roman
Originally published in Daily Variety, June 4, 1996.


New Line Cinema has optioned the screenplay for the Dark Horse comic book, "Cross," by lawyer/novelist Andrew Vachss and James Colbert in a six-figure deal, the studio confirmed Monday.1

The pick ups the number of comics that New Line is developing for features, which has grown under prexy of production and acknowledged comics fanatic Michael De Luca. Other projects include "Avengelyne" with producer Rob Leifeld, "Blade" and "Spawn." The studio's megahit "The Mask," which grossed more than $300 million worldwide, was also based on a comic.

"Cross," which is based on an unpublished novel by Vachss and Colbert called "Cross Genesis," is about a family of misfit mercenaries andchildhood friends who fight urban crime.2

The novel spawned the series of Dark Horse comic books. New Line bought all the rights to the "Cross" material, as well as all future rights to all the characters and "Cross"-related stories.

The studio considers the material ripe for a franchise.

Lloyd Segan is attached to produce the project. De Luca and director of development Brian Witten brokered the deal.

Vachss handled the deal for Colbert and himself.

The Gotham-based writer is already in development with New Line on "Flood," a feature about the proliferation of snuff films, with Segan fixed to produce. Harold Becker ("Sea of Love," "City Hall") is attached to direct.3

Vachss has also written 10 bestselling novels, including "Strega," "Blue Belle," "Hard Candy," "Blossom," "Right" and "Batman: The Ultimate Evil."4

Aside from his writing projects, Vachss, an attorney, usually represents children, and usually pro bono, he said. "I have spent my life battling child abuse," Vachss said in a statement. "And this is what I've learned: Behavior is truth. Evil exists. Predators stalk among us. I turned to fiction because I wanted a bigger jury than I'd ever find in a courtroom."5


Notes

Vachss would like readers to make note of the following corrections:

  1. New Line optioned the novel, not the screenplay. New Line bought the screenplay, which is a different transaction. Vachss did not discuss financial aspects of the deal.
  2. The title of the novel is "Cross: Genesis," not "Cross Genesis." The book is part of a series. "Cross" is about a group of disenfranchised children who become soldiers in an army for the only country that is truly theirs, Vachss says.
  3. Vachss lives in New York City.
    Flood is not about the proliferation of snuff films.
  4. Vachss wrote no novel titled, "Right." "Another Chance to Get It Right" is the correct title, and the book is not a novel.
  5. Vachss represents children exclusively, and the quote comes from a mission statement written for Knopf's sales force.



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