Lionsgate, Frank Miller in The Spirit

Mini-major film studio Lionsgate has acquired domestic and U.K. distribution rights to the live-action adaptation of Will Eisner’s classic comic book The Spirit. The feature film is being written and directed by Sin City and 300 creator Frank Miller, with Odd Lot Ent. co-financing and producing, along with Batfilm Prods. The movie is the first production in a multi-picture co-financing, co-production and split-rights arrangement between the three companies.

The Spirit is the story of a man who fakes his own death and becomes a legendary crime fighter. From the shadows of Central City, he tracks The Octopus, a cold-blooded killer who murders anyone unfortunate enough to see his face. In addition to saving the city from The Octopus, our hero must handle a bevy of beautiful women who either want to seduce, love or kill him.

“Will Eisner’s The Spirit is a product of passion and dedication for me,’ says Miller, who co-directed the filmed adaptation of his graphic novel Sin City with Robert Rodriguez. ‘Will was a dear friend, a mentor, and translating his vision to the screen will be a labor of love. I look forward to working with the people at Lionsgate, and to add to their lauded reputation for genre films.”

Gigi Pritzker and Deborah Del Prete (The Wedding Planner, the upcoming Suburban Girl) are producing the film for Odd Lot, with Lionsgate’s president of film production Mike Paseornek producing for Lionsgate, and Michael Uslan (Batman Begins, Constantine) is producing for Batfilm. Batfilm co-founder Benjamin Melniker and Steve Maier are exec producers on the project, and Odd Lot’s Linda McDonough and Batfilm’s F.J. DeSanto are co-producers.