John Wick Director To Take On Ed Brubaker’s Kill or Be Killed

by Erik Amaya


It’s a perfect match made in Hell.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, John Wick co-director Chad Stahelski will helm a feature film adaptation of Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips’ great horror-infused noir tale, Kill of Be Killed.

The comic book, published by Image Comics, centers on a college student named Dylan who is driven to kill one a month by something he perceives as a demon. If he fails to murder someone, the demon will kill him by making him violently ill. Stuck with the arrangement, Dylan decides to use his once-a-month spree to rid the world of low-lifes. It goes okay for awhile — if you forgive the moral implications — until disasters compound themselves and Dylan finds himself on the run. He also realizes the demon may be in his own head or something he inherited from his cover artist father.

Beautifully rendered by Phillips and colorist Elizabeth Breitweiser, the material is a perfect fit for the high-octane film world of Stahelski.

Though Brubaker has Hollywood experience, Dan Casey will write the script. Luckily, he is familiar with Brubaker’s work having already adapted Incognito for a still-in-development feature project.

To be honest, this cannot come soon enough. Kill or Be Killed may be favorite of the Brubaker/Phillips/Breitweiser books of the current era. Which isn’t to suggest Fatale or The Fade Out were bad. They are exceptional comics. But Kill or Be Killed just has a little extra scope and punch, something I hope Stahleski can bring to the screen.

Erik Amaya

Host of Tread Perilously and a Film/TV Writer at and Rotten Tomatoes. A former staff writer at CBR and Bleeding Cool, and a contributing writer at Fanbase Press and Monkeys Fighting Robots. Voice of Puppet Tommy on The Room Responds. A seeker of the Seastone Chair and the owner of a Legion Flight Ring. Sorted into Gryffindor, which came as some surprise.

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