Corto Maltese is readying to set sail for his first live-action film adaptation.
Variety reports Tom Hughes and Milla Jovovich will star in Corto Maltsese, a film adaptation of Hugo Pratt’s beloved adventure strip. Brotherhood of the Wolf‘s Christophe Gans is set to direct from a script by William Schneider.
Beginning in 1967, Pratt began telling tales of Corto Maltese, a mariner during the early part of the 20th Century who finds himself neck-deep in pirates, lost gold, war, intrigue and a mysterious lost civilization. The film will see Corto hired by a Chinese revolutionary group to hijack an armored train transporting Czar Nicolas II’s gold from St. Petersburg to Vladivostok. According to Variety, producers Davis Films, TriPictures and Capstone Group hope to turn Corto into a winning adventure film series in the mold of the Indiana Jones franchise. Of course, readers of Corto Maltese will note the character’s laid back charm is far cry from Indy’s rougher and excitable manner.
And for those wondering, the term “Corto Maltese” has snuck into DC Comics lore thanks to a shout-out in the 1989 Batman film and its continued use as the name of a worn-torn country in The CW Arrowverse.
Besides Hughes and Jovovich, the film will also feature James Thierrée as constant Corto companion (and irritant) Rasputin and Mark Dacascos in an undisclosed role.
The character has been adapted to screen before as a partially animated Italian television series, a 2002 French animated film and, most recently, as an opera, but the film marks the character’s first full live-action appearance.
Corto Maltese is expected to being production in January.