David Maisel, the founding chairman of Marvel Studios, and Scooter Braun, who manages artists like Kanye West and Ariana Grande, have collaborated to found Mythos Studios, a production company that has acquired a 50 percent stake in Aspen Comics. Maisel and Braun intend to use Mythos to bring at least two of Aspen’s most successful franchises to the big screen — Soulfire and Fathom.
Aspen Comics was founded in 2003 by Michael Turner, an artist who was best known for his work on Witchblade, Superman/Batman and the aforementioned Fathom and Soulfire. While Mythos will aim to bring select titles from Aspen’s back catalog to theaters, the studio is also interested in original titles, and may even bring public domain stories to the screen.
While both Braun and Maisel have seen rampant success in their respective fields, there is a great deal of pressure in the filmmaking space right now, with ticket sales in a downward spiral for all but the most revered franchises, chief among them being Star Wars and the various entries in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In an interview with The New York Times, Maisel compared the relative obscurity of Aspen Comics’ characters to that of Marvel’s when Iron Man first screened in 2008.
“It’s hard to think of it now, but at the time even Iron Man people thought of as a triathlon sporting event,” Maisel said. “What I’ve enjoyed doing in my career is to see opportunities that aren’t obvious.”
Fathom, by Michael Turner, recounts the story of a marine biologist who discovers she is actually a member of an aquatic humanoid species called the Blue, which can control water. The series was a best-seller when it was released in 1998, running until 2002. Fathom returned to shelves in 2003. Various writers and artists have helmed the series and its side stories since Turner’s death in 2008.
Soulfire was also created by Turner, the first issue being published in Wizard magazine in 2003. The series was taken up by Aspen the following year. Soulfire follows a young boy (and his team of magic misfits and cyborgs) as he tries to bringing magic back to a hardened, dreary future.
Mythos Studios is still young, and plans to adapt both Fathom and Soulfire are in the early phases, so no additional casting or release information are available at this time.