Universal could be heading to outer space.
The studio is in early development on the Dark Horse sci-fi property “Fear Agent.” The project is now an open-writing assignment, but there’s a possibility that the studio could match a spec whose rights are controlled by “Air Force One” producer Jonathan Shestack and bring Shestack on to produce “Agent.”
“Agent” centers on a colorful, borderline alcoholic astronaut named Heath Huston, a Texan who works as a so-called fear agent, the last of a dwindling breed of spacemen whose mission it is to fight threats to the planet Earth, which is partly destroyed during the course of the series.
The property emphasizes a kind of in-your-face adventure as Huston hops around the galaxy fighting various alien species and threats.
Rick Remender penned the series, which began life in 2005 as an Image Comics property before moving to Dark Horse the following year.
Dark Horse Entertainment, the production banner of indie comics powerhouse Dark Horse, has been behind a number of comics-to-film breakouts, including “Hellboy” and “30 Days of Night.” After releasing the Dark Horse production “Hellboy 2,” Universal last year partnered with Dark Horse for an overall production and distribution pact.
Universal has put several other Dark Horse properties in development. The company this spring announced that it was developing “The Secret,” an adaptation of the tale of a missing teenager that Scott Milam has signed on to write. It also is eyeing the counterculture title “Emily the Strange.”
In addition to “Air Force One,” Shestack recently produced the Matthew McConaughey romantic comedy “Ghosts of Girlfriends Past” and is producing Lionsgate workplace comedy “Cover Your Assets.”