David Petersen's fantastic graphic novel series Mouse Guard is finally getting adapted for the big screen and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story's Gary Whitta is writing the script for Twentieth Century Fox.
Set in a medieval landscape, the first issue of Mouse Guard was released back in 2006 from indie publisher Archaia (now an imprint of Boom! Studios). Focusing on walking, talking mice Saxon, Kenzie, and Lieam, the series exists in a world where humans don't exist. And it's come a long way since it began, spawning anthology series The Legends of the Guard as well as a roleplaying game.
The movie itself has been a long time coming. As early as 2008 I spoke with Petersen, who at the time had producer David Kirschner attached to help adapt Fall into a film. The latest news has Matt Reeves and Gary Whitta attached. The Hollywood Reporter writes:
Twentieth Century Fox has optioned the best-selling work by David Petersen that will be penned by Whitta, the screenwriter of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
Reeves, the director of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and Cloverfield, will produce the adaptation via his 6th & Idaho banner, along with Mouse Guard publisher Boom! Studios' Ross Richie and Stephen Christy. Reeves is not intending to direct the project.
The studio is looking to make a live-action movie utilizing the performance capture technology pioneered for Fox”s acclaimed Apes franchise as well as technology used by Disney”s live-action animal tale The Jungle Book to bring the Mouse Guard world to vivid life.
I reached out to President of Development for Boom, Stephen Christy, who told me:
We've been working for a number of years to get Mouse Guard to the big screen and the most important thing to all of us, especially David, was to put together the right team. With Matt Reeves we have someone who has the technological experience to help push the envelope and bring this world to life in a realistic way, and with Gary Whitta we have someone who has great experience in bringing big, fantasy/sci-fi worlds to the screen. We've all joined hands with the full support of the great team at Fox to try to bring to life a world unlike anything that's ever been seen in a movie before. I think the fans of the books are going to be really pleased with the love and craftsmanship that everyone is bringing to the project.
“So, SO excited to be adapting Mouse Guard as a live-action CG feature film for Fox & producer @mattreevesLA!” wrote Whitta on Twitter, also tweeting out an older comment of his where he wondered about a movie…
From the twitter wayback machine: 25 Jan, 2015 https://t.co/M9pRkqXssZ
– Gary Whitta (@garywhitta) July 18, 2016
Petersen wrote, “I'm thrilled to have Mouse Guard set up at Fox and in great hands with @garywhitta & @mattreevesLA” and added that he and Whitta would be on a panel together at San Diego Comic-Con this Friday to discuss the news.
– David Petersen (@mouseguard) July 18, 2016
As a longtime acquaintance of Petersen and a fan of Mouse Guard since the start, I'm over the moon about this news. And here's a fun bit of trivia – Petersen is a big Star Wars fan, even finding a way to sneak in a Millennium Falcon onto the back of Mouse Guard, Winter 1152 #4.