Alex Proyas To Direct Adaptation Of 'Hellboy' Creators 'Joe Golem And The Drowning City'

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by Cain Rodriguez
July 12, 2012 9:40 AM
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It looks like “Dark City” helmer Alex Proyas is rebounding quite nicely since seeing his 3D take on “Paradise Lostfall apart, as he’s added another project to his busy workload.

Deadline is reporting that Proyas will adapt and direct a film based on “Hellboy” creator Mike Mignola and Christopher Golden’s “Joe Golem And The Drowning City.” The plot synopsis of the graphic novel, described as being “supernatural-steampunk,” is as follows:

In 1925, earthquakes and a rising sea level left Lower Manhattan submerged under more than thirty feet of water, so that its residents began to call it the Drowning City. Those unwilling to abandon their homes created a new life on streets turned to canals and in buildings whose first three stories were underwater. Fifty years have passed since then, and the Drowning City is full of scavengers and water rats, poor people trying to eke out an existence, and those too proud or stubborn to be defeated by circumstance.

Among them are fourteen-year-old Molly McHugh and her friend and employer, Felix Orlov. Once upon a time Orlov the Conjuror was a celebrated stage magician, but now he is an old man, a psychic medium, contacting the spirits of the departed for the grieving loved ones left behind. When a seance goes horribly wrong, Felix Orlov is abducted by strange men wearing gas masks and rubber suits, and Molly soon finds herself on the run.

Her flight will lead her into the company of a mysterious man, and his stalwart sidekick, Joe Golem, whose own past is a mystery to him, but who walks his own dreams as a man of stone and clay, brought to life for the sole purpose of hunting witches.

All told, it sounds like it has the potential to be solid genre fare, and provide some compelling material for Proyas to display the strong visual flair he's shown across most of the films, even if they've largely failed to live up to "Dark City." But 'Joe Golem' seems to provide him the opportunity to construct another all-new world, and hopefully it will be something of a return to form.

We’ll have to wait a while though, and see where this lands among the many projects he's signed on for in recent months. He’s already committed to direct an adaptation of Robert A. Heinlein’s “The Unpleasant Profession Of Jonathan Hoag,” the ancient Egypt-setGods Of Egypt” and a segment in the omnibus "Sydney Unplugged." In the meantime, you can try picking up a copy of the well-reviewed graphic novel.

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