Kane Adaptation in the Works From Godzilla, Paranormal Activity Alums

By Jenna Anderson
Karl Edward Wagner’s Kane franchise is officially headed into a whole new realm. On Tuesday, it was announced (via The Hollywood Reporter) that the adaptation rights to Kane have been acquired by the producer trio of Vertigo Entertainment’s Roy Lee, Andrew Trapani, and Steven Schneider. Keith Previte and Kevin Elam of the Karl Edward Wagner estate will also be serving as producers on the project, which could either be a feature film or a television series. It is unclear where the adaptation of the beloved fantasy novel and short story series will ultimately end up.
Kane’s stories have been set in a visceral world steeped in ancient history, with bloody conflicts and dark mysteries. Wagner wove gothic horror elements into this pre-medieval landscape, taking Kane on fantastic sagas involving war, romance, triumph and tragedy. The character, also known as the Mystic Swordsman, first made his debut in the 1973 short story collection Death Angel’s Shadow, and went on to appear in twenty short stories and three novels. The Kane franchise drew a cult following over the years, one that continued even after Wagner’s death.
“Kane grew out of my childhood fascination for the villain,” Wagner said in an interview prior to his death. “Kane is not a sword and sorcery hero; he is a gothic hero/villain from the tradition of the Gothic novels of the 18th and early 19th centuries. Possibly his single greatest influence was the doomed hero/villain of Maturin’s Melmoth the Wanderer, although there are very many other sources. What I wanted to do was to create a mysterious amoral character, far more intelligent and far more physically powerful than his adversaries. Before Kane, villains were either twisted geniuses or hulking oafs. With Kane, I wanted a character who could master any situation intellectually, or rip off heads if push came to shove. Fu Manchu with muscles. Kane is closer to the Terminator than Conan, although neither comparison is really valid. I suppose the best description is to consider Kane a genetically engineered organic cyborg created via magic and alien science. But you’ll find out more later.”
“My conception of Kane has not changed over some 35 years,” Wagner continued. “I have always considered the series as horror (or Gothic) as opposed to sword and sorcery. When Powell published Darkness Weaves, I described the series as “gothic fantasy” and Powell so labeled it in their edition. Later, when working with Gary Hoppenstand on his groundbreaking small press magazine Midnight Sun, I described the Kane stories as “dark fantasy”. Gary liked that term, used it, and yes, I coined the term ‘dark fantasy’.”
Lee is best known for co-creating Vertigo Entertainment, and executive producing projects such as Godzilla vs. Kong, Doctor Sleep, and both It films. Trapani has produced Winchester and The Haunting in Connecticut, as well as the upcoming documentary series Winning Time. Schneider has produced the Paranormal Activity films, Old, and Pet Sematary. The trio are currently developing New Regency’s The Hawkline Monster, which will be directed by Yorgos Lanthimos. 
What do you think of the Kane franchise getting an adaptation? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!
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