Robot 6

SDCC ’13 | Duncan Jones & Glenn Fabry to produce ‘Mute’

Mute header

News flows out of Comic-Con International like an avalanche: Sometimes the interesting announcements gets buried by the more glamorous and higher-profile projects. One story that caught my eye was that filmmaker Duncan Jones and 2000AD/Preacher artist Glenn Fabry will be collaborating on a graphic-novel adaptation of Jones’ unproduced script Mute for Dark Horse.

Mute was originally planned to be Jones’ second film, after the much-praised Moon. Failing to secure funding for the ambitious, Blade Runner-influenced, project meant Jones was forced to move on. His second film instead was Source Code, a rollicking adventure that showed Jones as a capable director of action, after the more sedentary thrills of Moon. He’s now in the pre-production stages of the World of Warcraft movie, the sort of  potential franchise tentpole film that could result in Jones being trusted with a budget large enough to make any feature he wants. Jones debuted a “mood piece” — a teaser trailer — for Warcraft, currently unavailable online (but a few souls in attendance in Hall H have posted their descriptions of it). He’s been talking up turning Mute into a graphic novel since 2011, when he told Gordon and the Whale:

“I can sort of tell you that I’ve been talking to my producer today and we have decided that we’re going to release Mute as a graphic novel. Because we’ve had so many problems trying to get this film made, you know? The people who are involved with financing films have just been…shy…shy of making the script. So what we decided to do is we’re going to make a graphic novel of it, prove it…prove it to an audience that this works and maybe in the future get the chance to come back and make it.”

This is a policy that has worked for others in the past: When funding from Warner Bros. fell through in 2002 for Darren Aronofsky’s The Fountain, the filmmaker reserved the right to produce a graphic novel of the script, which was published by Vertigo in 2005 with art by the great Kent Williams. Keeping the production alive in this way meant the production maintained momentum, finally reaching the screen in 2006. I’m pretty fond of that movie, but I absolutely love the book.

At Comic-Con, Dark Horse gave away a mini-poster of a double-page spread by Fabry from Mute. Jones stopped by to sign some (“Come for the art, stay for the scrawl!” he joked via his Twitter feed).


Hell of an image, that; “immersive” might be one word to describe it. Fabry is best known internationally these days as a cover artist, but this is the second job he’s producing comic interiors for that has been announced recently: He’ll also be returning to “Slaine,” the strip that made his name at 2000AD, to draw a sequence of the anniversary arc “The Book of Scars,” alongside that other artist launched to super-stardom on that feature, Simon Bisley.

Fabry posted some grayscale images of the penciled versions of these Mute pages to his Facebook page:

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Awesome work, and yes, they do evoke Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner to a degree, but also the work by Moebius that influenced Scott, those vertical cityscapes from The Long Tomorrow. The insane level of detail in these pages also brings to mind Geof Darrow’s crowd scenes from Hard Boiled. It’s just two pages, but they’ve managed to sorely whet my appetite for the book. And for a cheeseburger.



Yeah, Moebius in the first thing that came to mind when I saw the images as well. With Jones and Fabry on this I am very intrigued.

Wow! Pretty amazing. Will have to do a web search and see what Mute is about. Hope the movie is eventually produced. :)

Johnny Sarcastic

July 23, 2013 at 7:28 pm

I’m on board. Both of those guys have talent oozing out of them, and not in an ‘STD that won’t go away’ way.

Alan Mitchell

July 24, 2013 at 5:03 am

What is this nonsense about Fabry being known as just ‘a cover artist these days’?? What about Neverwhere? What about Thor: vikings? What about Lot 13, out October last year in a 5 issue series run that ended in February this year? Only somebody who knows very litlle about comics would make that kind of statement.

At ease, Alan. What Mark actually wrote is “Fabry is best known internationally these days as a cover artist.” Not “as just a cover artist these days.”

Alan Mitchell

July 28, 2013 at 1:41 pm

Okay, check it, fellas. Fabry has and is known internationally for his interior work as much as his cover work. I assume you guys reviewed Lot 13 when it was released last Halloween for a five issue run with DC. Think it’s important that we don’t leave the wrong impression.

Mark Kardwell

July 28, 2013 at 4:54 pm

Is this the Alan Mitchell who used to co-write with Pat Mills in the 1990s? ‘Cuz if so, it’s an honor to have my writing misinterpreted by you, sir.

Alan Mitchell

July 29, 2013 at 3:48 pm

Hey Mark, happy to oblige with the correction. I’ve noticed that DC Entertainment have not given a date as to when they’re going to collect Lot 13 as TPB. You guys know anything about that?

Moon is easily one of most thought provoking commentaries on the human condition. Brilliant film and Sam Rockwell played his part perfectly.

Agreed! Moon is one of the most beautiful and understated films I’ve had the pleasure to watch. Sam was incredible! Any time single actor can captivate so successfully, it blows me away. Not to mention, the musical score was wonderfully immersive and appropriately set the tone of the film.

Can’t wait for the ‘not-a-sequel-but-in-the-same-universe’ follow-up!!

If you haven’t seen Moon, do yourself a favour!! You won’t regret it!

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