Deadpool is one of the most popular comic book characters on the big screen at a time when the movies are full of them. As a result, his creator Rob Liefeld has received a lot of attention for his other comic creations. Now, it looks like another of Liefeld’s characters is on the way to the big screen. Studio 8 has picked up the rights to the character Prophet, with an eye toward developing an entire franchise around the character.
If Deadpool is the anti-X-Men, then Prophet is the anti-Captain America. John Prophet is a super soldier who gets cryogenically frozen for a mission in the future, but he wakes instead in the modern day. Without the mission he was created for, he is somewhat lost and has difficulty functioning in a modern world he was not raised in. He’s also been used as a weapon by people with less than noble ends, something Prophet has to deal with and overcome.
His description doesn’t sound all that different from another “anti-Captain America” character that movie fans might be more familiar with, The Winter Soldier, though Prophet’s existence in comics predates the Winter Soldier by more than a decade. Both are cryogenically frozen men used as weapons by people with evil intent who eventually have to come to terms with their previous evil deeds while trying to live better lives going forward.
It’s certainly unsurprising that Rob Liefeld’s catalog of characters is getting a closer look. He’s created dozens of comic book characters in his career and considering the success that Deadpool is having, other studios would love to make that lightning strike twice. Part of the problem, of course, is that few of Liefeld’s creations are quite as well known as Deadpool, or the associated characters like Cable. That’s not a dealbreaker, even Deadpool wasn’t exactly a household name for your average movie fan, but the fact that the character had a relationship to the existing X-Men characters certainly helped. Prophet exists in an entirely separate universe, having been created for Image Comics rather than Marvel.
That being said, John Prophet does exist within a different comics universe. The character originally debuted in the Youngbloods comics series before being spun off into his own title, and while it appears the current deal being reported by The Wrap is limited to the Prophet character, if the studio is already eyeing Prophet as a franchise, one has to assume that a cinematic universe is at least an idea that’s on the table. If Prophet is successful perhaps Studio 8 will look at picking up the rights to associated characters as well.