What do you do when your favorite comic strip character is threatened by obscurity? Become a billionaire and buy up the rights, then plan on resurrecting the comic and adapting it into a video game, TV series and, most importantly, a feature film. Sure, Richard Branson didn't become a rich man (or a knight) just to make Dan Dare: Pilot of the Future popular again, but the character rights are now an added bonus to the Virgin Group chairman's empire. Anyway, Dan Dare hasn't really been that obscured or hidden since his debut in the 1950s; the character even starred in an animated series on Nicktoons UK as recent as 2005. Of course, Americans aren't too familiar with the guy, who is often described as the British Buck Rogers, and Branson's deal should change that.
According to Variety, first up is a series from Virgin Comics written by Garth Ennis (Preacher), who actually cites Dan Dare as "our Captain America, our Superman, our Batman; he's all of them rolled into one." Funny, I thought the lame Captain Britain was all of that, but I'm certainly eager to check out this Dan Dare guy now. I don't know if I'll pick up the comics, the first issue of which comes out in November, but I'll look forward to the movie. CAA is already developing a package for whatever studio decides to latch onto it. The story concerns a post-apocalyptic world in which North America and much of Asia is destroyed and the UK is the last remaining superpower. The fairly new Virgin Comics has been growing notice lately with high profile series announced from filmmakers like Terry Gilliam, John Woo and Shekhar Kapur. Last month, Ed Burns unveiled his own title, which will also be adapted into a movie, and Nicolas Cage also has his own comic.