Hunting Lane founder Jamie Patricof has acquired rights to the first book from the Criminal series of graphic novels with David Slade attached to direct. Sierra / Affinity is attached to finance and represents international rights

Ed Brubaker wrote and Sean Phillips drew Coward, which takes place in a self-contained universe of hustlers, crooked cops and pickpockets and follows a master thief called Leo. Criminal is an ongoing crime comic book series published by Marvel Comics’ Icon imprint.

“We are thrilled to be working with Ed Brubaker on Coward,” Patricof said. “This is such an iconic comic and I have been a fan of Ed’s for years. With David Slade now attached, we have a clear vision for what the film will be and it is really exciting.”
“I’ve had interest in the Criminal books for a long time, but knew I had to wait for the exact right people, who understood the material and how to bring it to the screen,” Brubaker said. “Jamie’s work as a producer has impressed the hell out of me, and David Slade’s passion for this project and his plans for how to visualise it are already inspiring me.”

“There are so many things we like about this project from the source material being from the renowned Ed Brubaker and the Eisner Award-winning graphic novel that is cherished throughout the world to Jamie Patricof producing and David Slade directing,” Sierra /Affinity CEO Nick Meyer said.

Coward is an example of the types of films we at Sierra / Affinity want to continue to be involved with in terms of financing as well as our producing and sales expertise.”

Coward is such a contemporary, hard-boiled crime thriller yet at the same time it echoes the greats of its genre to me; films like Straight Time, Performance, and Dog Day Afternoon,” Slade said. “We intend to make a thoroughly character-driven noir.