It seems like that Torso movie will never get made.
Based on one of the best graphic novel’s Brian Michael Bendis every published — in collaboration with Marc Andreyko — Torso told the story of the United States first confirmed serial killer: the Torso Murderer of Cleaveland, Ohio. The killer mutilated his victims, often leaving their dismembered and decapitated torsos by the river or in the slums as a calling card. Legendary lawman Elliot Ness was brought into town to hunt down the killer, but ultimately failed as the crimes are unsolved to this day. Ness believed he knew the identity of the killer, but lacked the evidence to prove it. He retired from law enforcement haunted by the case for the remainder of his life.
As detailed in Bendis’s hilarious Fortune & Glory: A True Hollywood Comic Book Story, he and Andreyko faced a number of hurdles trying to get the film made in the late 1990s. The project has changed hands a number of times since the graphic novel was first published with Dimension Films, Don Murphy, and David Fincher attempting to develop it for the screen. The latest attempt was at Paramount Pictures with frequent Bourne director Paul Greengrass slated to direct.
Deadline reports the studio has abandoned the project, retitled as Ness, after responsible parties found they could not agree on a script — most recently drafted by L.A. Confidential writer Brian Helgeland — which resembled the source material. The rights will revert to Bendis and Andreyko despite the studio’s one-time hope of developing the film as a franchise-starter.
Which would seem to be the end of Torso‘s movie journey. Unless, of course, another studio sees the obvious potential in it and tries again.