35 years after publishing Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean’s first-ever graphic novel, today Scary Monster, Lakesville Productions and Foton.Pictures are thrilled to announce that development on Violent Cases is well underway with Academy Award®-winning actor Ben Kingsley attached in the lead role of the Osteopath led by the creative team behind the BAFTA-nominated The Girl With All The Gifts – writer Mike Carey, director Colm McCarthy and producer Camille Gatin.
Violent Cases was created by Neil Gaiman (Good Omens, The Sandman, Coraline, Lucifer, American Gods, Doctor Who) and Dave McKean (Luna, Mirror Mask). The graphic novel’s original publisher Mike Lake reached out to Neil to turn it into a feature film. Mike Lake suggested writer Mike Carey, who had previously written Lucifer and many other books in the Sandman universe. Neil wholeheartedly agreed with the choice.”
Violent Cases is a journey into the mind of Neil Gaiman, as a famous author recounts fragmented childhood memories and visits to an osteopath who once worked for Al Capone, weaving a dark and twisting tale about stories, our memory, violence and the ways we can’t escape our past.
Directed by Colm McCarthy (The Girl With All The Gifts, The Bastard Son & The Devil Himself, Peaky Blinders), the film will be produced by Lakesville Productions’ Edmund Kingsley, Scary Monster’s Camille Gatin and Colm McCarthy and Foton.Pictures’ Carlos Enrique Cuscó and Ari Taboada.
Lead actor Ben Kingsley said: “I’m delighted to be working with this fantastic team on Violent Cases, which for me is about the power and importance of storytelling, about how we negotiate the shadows cast by the father figures in our lives and above all about the right of our inner child to be heard.”
Director Colm McCarthy said: “Violent Cases is a wild, hallucinatory, yet thought provoking and emotional comic. It’s so exciting to build a film from this incredible, genre-defining work.”
Writer Mike Carey said: “As an aspiring writer back in the late 80s reading Violent Cases was a revelation and a joy for me. Its darkness and playfulness defined a new approach to storytelling. Thirty-five years on, it’s still unique, and bringing it across into a new medium feels like discovering it again for the first time. Neil Gaiman redefined serialised comics with The Sandman, but Violent Cases was his and Dave McKean’s early masterpiece. It’s thrilling to be introducing it to a new audience, and taking its visual lyricism into a new medium.”
Executive Producer Mike Lake was one of the first to spot Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean’s talents, publishing Violent Cases in 1987. He said: “I was running my Forbidden Planet and Titan companies, retailing, distributing and publishing books and comics, when I was shown the photocopied pages of Violent Cases. This time in the mid-eighties, graphic novels were maturing into things like Watchmen, Dark Knight and Mauss, and I saw immediately that two extraordinary talents had created a game changer: It set new parameters for where you could go with a story. So we published it. I’ve been dying to see it filmed since the day I saw it.”
Producer Ed Kingsley said: “I’ve been a Gaiman and McKean fan since I was twelve, and the first thing Mike Lake and I ever talked about was him being around Neil and Dave as they started out in comics and how even back then, he’d know there was something extraordinary about what they were doing. So when Mike caught up with Neil during the filming of Good Omens and they got talking about Violent Cases, we all got very excited about how we could put it on screen. First, I realised that Dad would be perfect as the Osteopath, so I sent him the book and luckily he could see it, too.
Next we thought about who else we wanted to make it with: I had Colm McCarthy at the top on my list and Mike had Mike Carey at the top of his, and of course we realised that they were already a team having made The Girl With All The Gifts together. So I called Colm, who I knew from working for as an actor, and Mike Lake called Mike Carey, who he’s known for years, and in turn they introduced us to their brilliant producer Camille Gatin, and when we all had an idea of how to take what we loved about Violent Cases and turn it into a movie we took it to our friends at Foton.Pictures.”
Producer Carlos Enrique Cuscó said: “Neil Gaiman is not only a world builder, he was THE world builder to me. To have the opportunity to now be a part in helping expand one of his worlds, and such a personal one at that, is truly something special. Stories that achieve this kind of permanence in our minds and have the potential to possibly impact our perspectives, are the kind of stories we believe need to be read, seen, and heard. These are the stories that make us proud to be a part of them and we could not be more honored by getting to work with such incredible source material and of collaborating with such amazing artists in Camille, Ed, Colm and Mike to adapt Violent Cases as a total mind bender of a Feature Film.”
Colm McCarthy is currently in post-production on Lionsgate and Temple Hill’s The Bagman starring Sam Claflin and Antonia Thomas.
Camille Gatin is currently in post-production on Focus Features and Bleecker Street’s The Tutor, Alice Troughton’s directorial debut, starring Julie Delpy, Daryl McCormack and Richard E. Grant.
Edmund Kingsley appears in Nandor Fodor and the Talking Mongoose, Netflix’s 3 Body Problem, and Mammoth Screen and Masterpiece’s Tom Jones, all in post-production.
Carlos Enrique Cuscó is currently in production on Gigante for Hulu and Disney+ produced in partnership with Onyx Collective and Trojan Horse Media, and in pre-production on Say Her Name, starring Benicio del Toro and Adria Arjona, produced in partnership with William Horberg, Pablo Larráin and Juan de Diós Larraín.
Mike Lake has spent fifty years in the world of comics and graphic novels, co-founding the Forbidden Planet chain of stores, Titan Books and Titan Publishing.