Hot off the successful adaptation of his Polar graphic novels, Victor Santos recently announced two new graphic novel projects with film and TV adaptations in development: The Left Hand of Devil and Motorway. Both sound like they could appeal to fans of stylized gritty action stories.
The Left Hand of Devil tells the story of Cassandra, a black Irish woman living in Japan, who must learn Bōjutsu so she can exact revenge on the vicious Yakuza crime-boss who cut off her arm and murdered her family.
The Left Hand of Devil will be a Japanese, Irish and UK co-production written by Japanese writer/director Mutsumi Kameyama and English writer/producer Anthony Alleyne. Overall, the film is shaping up to be a unique blend of cultures and cinematic flavors.
Motorway takes place in a near future, where young teenager Alice has spent her short life sketching and drawing the motorway and the towns at its side. There is nothing else. The motorway is now the center of day-to-day human life, following the world’s regression back to coal and oil. It is surrounded by endless wasteland during the day; at night only its floodlights appear to keep unseen, vicious monsters at bay.
When Alice’s gifted brother, Eric, is sold by their dysfunctional parents to unknown buyers, she escapes home to track him down with the help of aging Road Warrior, Stray, who has a dark past and is looking for some meaning from life.
Hopefully Motorway will be able to differentiate itself from Scott Snyder and Tony Daniels‘s Nocterra series which is currently being developed by Netflix. The premises are similar, but I feel that Motorway‘s neon noir 1950s Diner aesthetic could set it apart.
Victor Santo’s comics have attracted a cult fan-base because of their formalist execution on pulp iconography. It’s his commitment to graphic design in addition to graphic content that makes a Santos graphic novel stand out amongst flashier superhero titles. I hope each new project pushes the level of cinematic stylization seen in the Polar adaptation.