Coming off the heels of his role as Stakar Ogrod in Marvel’s highly-anticipated superhero sequel Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Sylvester Stallone is eyeing a different superhero project. A new report claims the action icon is currently the front runner to play Duke McQueen in 20th Century Fox’s long-gestating Starlight comic book adaptation. Nothing is set in stone and the project doesn’t even have a director attached at this time, but if Sylvester Stallone does in fact come aboard, it could give this project new life.
Splash Report first broke the news on this potential casting, which is the first we’ve heard about this project in quite some time. We first reported on this adaptation of Mark Millar’s comic book way back in December 2013, when 20th Century Fox won a bidding war for the project, where the studio beat out two unnamed companies for the rights to the project. At the time, Simon Kinberg was attached to both produce and write the screenplay, but now he’s only attached as a producer.
Gary Whitta (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story) was brought on to write the screenplay in 2014, and the only other update we got on this project was in 2015, when Mark Millar claimed that both Chrononauts and Starlight would be his next two movies, neither of which have gone into production. It isn’t clear if there is any additional work on the script being done, or when 20th Century Fox may be placing this project on their production slate. Starlight was first published by Image Comics in 2014, with Mark Millar writing the comics and Goran Parlov providing the illustrations.
The story centers on Duke McQueen, a former space hero who has settled into retirement after saving the universe multiple times. With his wife long passed away and his children forming their own adventures, Duke lives a solitary life when he is called back into action, with a distant world needing his help. Mark Millar has said that this comic was inspired by sci-fi serials that were published in the 1940s and 1950s, teasing that he has always been a fan of “old gunslinger stories,” which he is using an a sci-fi setting in Starlight.
Sylvester Stallone is enjoying a career resurgence over the past few years, which began with his Oscar-nominated performance as the iconic Rocky Balboa in Creed. He will next be seen in Guardians of the Galaxy 2, and he most recently wrapped production on the action-packed sequel Escape Plan 2: Hades, where he stars along another Guardians 2 star, Dave Bautista. The studio has already given the green light for Escape Plan 3 as well, with Sylvester Stallone also attached to Idol’s Eye and Tough as they Come, which he would direct and star alongside Adam Driver. Hopefully 20th Century Fox will officially announce this Starlight casting soon.