Hilary Swank usually tends to play biographical characters such as transsexual Brandon Teena in “Boys Don’t Cry,” aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart in “Amelia” and lawyer Betty Anne Waters in “Conviction.” She also dabbled a bit in the romantic drama genre in “P.S: I Love You” and did ill-advised stints in horror with “The Resident” and “The Reaping” but according to Variety, the actress has been looking for some time for a new genre, so how about sci-fi?. Radical Pictures have announced that Swank will produce and star in the big-screen adaptation of the graphic novel “Shrapnel,” written by Nick Sagan (yes, the son of Carl Sagan) and M. Zachary Sherman, and originally created by Sagan and Mark Long. (And not to be confused with the John McTiernan project of the same name).
The Oscar-winning actress is set to take the leading role, as a former military officer who leads a revolt on Venus in the year 2250, when humanity has expanded its dominance of the solar system and most planets are colonized and controlled by an oppressive solar government, the Solar Alliance. Toby Wagstaff (“Diamonds In The Rough”) will adapt the screenplay for the graphic novel trilogy. The story follows Swank’s character, Samantha Vijaya, a former Solar Alliance Marine who encourages a revolution against the government. Although Variety mentions no names, several “top directors” are circling the project which has yet to be set up at a studio. “Shrapnel” seems like it will be a fresh new take on feminine empowerment in Hollywood and we can definitely see the appeal of the role for Swank. Whether or not we actually want to see her as a Venusian warrior is an entirely different matter.
In addition to being adapted for the big screen, “Shrapnel” has also been turned into an iPhone game (available at Apple’s App Store), and Zombie Studios is currently developing it into a multiplayer game. Also, this is not the first time Swank sits in the producer’s chair as she recently produced Luke Greenfield’s “Something Borrowed.” Her next big-screen appearance, alongside about a dozen other people, Garry Marshall’s ensemble holiday comedy thing “New Year’s Eve,” is in theatres on December 9th. —Laura Vrabie