Variety is reporting that director David Cronenberg (Scanners, Videodrome, Dead Zone, The Fly, Dead Ringers) will direct an adaptation of A History of Violence for New Line Cinema. Judge Dredd creator John Wagner wrote the A History of Violence graphic novel, which was the first volume published by DC in its Paradox Graphic Mystery line edited by Andrew Helfer. The second Paradox Graphic Mystery was Max Allan Collins' Road to Perdition. The film version of the Road to Perdition earned over $100 million at the box office and the Road to Perdition graphic novel sold far more copies in the wake of the film's release than it did during its largely unnoticed first publication.
A History of Violence feature film could produce the same effect, and with a script in hand and a director on board, this project looks like it will be able to escape 'development' hell and find its way to the silver screen. Screenwriter Josh Olson (Three Gun Blues) has been working on the project since last March (see 'A History of Violence Gets a Writer'). The hiring of a director indicates that the screenplay is 'a go' and the fact that Cronenberg has signed on is a definite plus. He will bring a piercing intelligence and focused intensity to the project that should help it immensely. John Wagner is one of the most underrated writers in comics and he deserves some success and acknowledgement on the silver screen. After the Judge Dredd film fiasco Hollywood definitely owes him one.