Nate Simpson’s Nonplayer Optioned By Legendary Entertainment
by Erik Amaya
Nate Simpson’s Nonplayer is getting a second life in the entertainment biz.
Deadline reports that Legendary Entertainment has picked up the film rights to the series with Thor: Ragnarok‘s Eric Pearson set to write the screenplay.
The two-issue (so far) series centers on Dana Stevens, a delivery person in the mid-21st Century who escapes the drudgery of American life inside the total-immersion online fantasy game “Warriors of Jarvath.” There, she’s a top assassin with a shot at eliminating the game’s NPC king and grabbing the glory for the nearly impossible achievement. But when her hit goes south and she kills the queen, the king’s response is unstintingly real. Soon, all the game’s NPCs achieve sentience and her online pastime begins to bleed into the real world; leaving her no choice but to become her online persona outside of the game’s confines.
Simpson released the first issue of Nonplayer in 2011 thought Image before a bike accident and the birth of his child put the project on hold. In 2015, he told CBR that he envisioned the series as seven issues in total and hoped to complete the story by 2020. He also added that the project was more a labor of love than a day job, and that real life concerns will always take precedence. Perhaps Legendary’s interest in the project will help him to get more issues completed. The series was also previously optioned by Harry Potter producer David Heyman and Warner Bros. Pictures, but that venture failed to produce a film.
Based on the pages I’ve seen, I hope things work out for Simpson. The book looks beautiful and its easy to see how it could become an interesting Ready Player One meets World of Warcraft tale.