Fox News is reporting that Quentin Tarantino is set to produce a film version of Larry Hama's Mort the Dead Teenager. Unlike Spider-Man, the X-Men, or The Hulk, Mort is no superhero--just a teenager who loses his head (literally) in a train wreck. This dark twisted character lasted only four issues as a Marvel mini-series, but it was quirky enough to gain the attention of Steven Spielberg and Robert Zemeckis, who optioned Mort long before the current spate of Marvel films had even begun production. Spielberg's interest in the project waned, but Tarantino and fellow producer Lawrence Bender plan to use the screenplay that Spielberg and Zemeckis commissioned from writer Jim Cooper. Dean Paraskevopoulos will direct Mort the Dead Teenager which will likely star Elijah Wood (Fellowship of the Ring) and Dominique Swain.
With the imminent success of Spider-Man every failed comic book-based project in Hollywood is getting a second look. Certainly Mort the Dead Teenager has been revived in part because other Marvel projects have met with considerable success. But coming as well towards the end of a major wave of Marvel movies (see 'Marvel's Monster Movies Mash the Screen!), Mort should benefit from its quirkiness, which sets it totally apart from the general run of Marvel superhero comics. No shooting date has yet been announced for Mort, which will be co-produced by Madonna's Maverick Films and released by Dimension/Miramax.