Tom Hardy To Produce Adaptation Of Awesome Comic 100 BULLETS

The Vertigo crime/conspiracy series lurches towards the screen.

I'm an enormous fan of 100 Bullets, the crime/conspiracy comic by Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso. The premise is fucking stellar: you have been wronged and a man comes up to you with a briefcase. Inside is a gun and 100 bullets that he says are totally untraceable, and should the police take a look at them they will immediately stop their investigation and let you go. More than that, the briefcase contains information and evidence against the person who has wronged you. Given this opportunity, given the certainty of getting away with it, do you take violent revenge? 

Eventually the series expanded its scope, looking into the shadowy organization behind the man and the 100 bullets, and weaving a noir crime tale of a conspiratorial group that has been rigging things in the United States of America since the 1700s. It involves ancient crime families and a group of enforcers called The Minutemen. The guy with the briefcase is Agent Graves, whose loyalties are uncertain.  It gets crazy, and Azzarello's hard boiled scripts mixed with Risso's absolutely perfect linework made the series one of the all-time greats from the Vertigo imprint of DC Comics. There are 13 volumes available, and you should read every single one (even if the Reservoir Dogs/Pulp Fiction influences feel a touch dated now). 

The property has been on the cusp of being a movie many times in the past, but today it has taken a bigger than usual leap: Tom Hardy has signed on to produce it for New Line. A few months ago Hardy teased a DC Comics property he was involved in, and at the time his clues made zero sense. Now they make all the sense:

It contains elements of all kinds of stuff. From Ocean’s Eleven, to Batman, you can get all the wrappers out and it would be a big, really cool, technicolor Pulp Fiction. It’s a psychological fuckfest, it’s absolutely awesome. It’s as if you would take Transmetropolitan and make it happen, but it’s not that out there [as in a futuristic cyberpunk world]. It’s something which is much more real world. It could be like Heat, it could be fucking awesome.

Oh yeah, that's totally 100 Bullets

Here's where I make a complaint, though: 100 Bullets is a TV show. Period. The comic is almost an anthology, with revenge-of-the-week stories mixed in with the larger mythology arc, like The X-Files. It's the balance between the two that made the book, with its disparate arcs that slowly built a story and a world, work so well. A movie would have to condense so much of that, unless you felt very, very positive about getting a sequel and made a movie that was largely a revenge story that, only in the final act, opened up into a bigger world. But I don't think that would work, and I think in a movie the 100 bullets gimmick would feel really disconnected from the conspiracy/crime stuff. I mean, it does in the comics - other characters sort of scoff at the fact that Agent Graves spends a lot of time playing the 100 bullets game. 

At any rate, it's going to be a movie. Hardy is producing but I bet he also ends up in the film, if it gets made. Who would he play? My money is on Cole Burns, aka The Wolf, a Minuteman who goes from loyalist to rogue over the course of the story. 

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