The Best Graphic Novel Series Is Becoming A TV Show

Hugo Pratt's Corto Maltese is being made into a series by Studiocanal, showrun by Frank Miller.

By Matthew Creith | Published

Writer Frank Miller is well-known for his work on Daredevil and other comics eventually turned into movies by Robert Rodriguez and Zack Snyder. With much of Miller’s work transformed into film and television franchises over the last couple of decades, fans of Miller are always wondering if a new project will be in development to showcase the writer’s best talents. Luckily, it appears that the best graphic novel series ever will be adapted into a new television show, as Deadline reports Corto Maltese will become a live-action series under showrunner Frank Miller.

Corto maltese

Frank Miller will serve as the creator, head writer, and executive producer on the new Corto Maltese series, a live-action adaptation of a series of graphic novels that were originally developed by Hugo Pratt. The new show will be backed by Studiocanal and have six episodes in its first season that will run one hour long each. The project will be a coproduction with Canal+ and the visual effects will be provided by Phil Tippet, well-known for his work on the Star Wars and Jurassic Park series of films.

Corto Maltese was originally conceived by Italian comic book writer Hugo Pratt in the late 1960s, following the adventures of the titular character, an adventurous sailor. As a body of work, Corto Maltese is often regarded by many experts to be one of the most artistic of all graphic novel series, with multiple iterations having been released within the last few years alone.

The name Corto Maltese should also be familiar to DC Universe fans for another reason: Frank Miller paid homage to Pratt’s work in his influential 1986 miniseries The Dark Knight Returns with the island nation of Corto Maltese. Over time, the island nation became a canonical part of DC Comics geography and was recently featured as the primary location of the James Gunn film The Suicide Squad.

Corto Maltese is also a popular mainstay for many comic book fans as the series is notable for its use of real-life historical figures incorporated into the fantasy adventures of its lead character, with American outlaw Butch Cassidy and World War I-era pilot Red Baron as some examples of character that Maltese interacts with.

Prior to his work in bringing Corto Maltese to the small screen, Frank Miller built an empire in comic books. Starting in the late-1970s and progressing over the next decade or so, Miller penned a number of stories for Marvel and Daredevil before creating the character of Elektra, who would eventually be played on film by actor Jennifer Garner and later, √Člodie Yung. As a story arc of the same series, Miller created Daredevil: Born Again, which was eventually adapted into the third season of the Netflix series Daredevil, which starred Charlie Cox.

No stranger to developing major Hollywood projects from graphic novels, Frank Miller is sure to set Corto Maltese up for success as he did with other content like Sin City and 300. Sharing directing duties with Robert Rodriguez, Miller transitioned his popular Sin City writings to the big screen with 2005’s Sin City and its sequel, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For. With 2006’s hit blockbuster film 300, Miller produced the movie at the helm of director Zack Snyder.