GUNTOWN: Transformers Producer Debuts Graphic Novel With TV, Film Development And More

Transformers franchise producer Lorenzo Di Bonaventura is reportedly dipping into graphic novels these days, and one with a bold aim toward a prolific hot-button issue in a dystopian setting. Cover art revealed for his current venture, Guntown, is now making the rounds and with Di Bonaventura looking toward developing the IP for multiple mediums, including television, film, video games and digital.

Bob Quinn and Andy Shapiro wrote the book in what will kick off a spate of novels, the first in which we meet Jimmy and Wade - two longtime best friends whose bond with each other is put to the ultimate test amid lurking secrets, hidden enemies, and a looming battle in a version of America that has outlawed guns and their unyielding owners. Di Bonaventura is partnering with the authors along with Cam Eldred and Brian Moreno to build the fictional, politically-themed universe.
Guntown is set in a not-too-distant future where the federal government passes the Gun Violence in America Act in response to a national epidemic of gun violence. The new law mandates that anyone wishing to possess or who is caught carrying a firearm of any kind is relocated to the National Firearm Zone, a massive walled city in the deserts of New Mexico. This area is now the only place in the country where firearms can be used. The rule is simple: Once you enter the NFZ, you — and future generations of your family — never can leave. Locals call it Guntown. 
The first book in what will be a series follows Jimmy and Wade, two best friends since youth who battle a threat rising from within the walls. The adventure will reveal secrets of a dark past, bring their unshakeable friendship to its breaking point, and set the stage for the town’s ultimate battle. 
“I loved the creative process and unfettered by anyone else’s opinion but our creative team so that was fantastic. We are not making enough movies that have interesting premises,” said di Bonaventura, who pointed to a film they did at Warner Bros — Falling Down (Michael Douglas starred, Arnold Kopelson produced) —  as one that really galvanized moviegoers and began discussion.
That film, Falling Down, was a particularly interesting, very dark, brutal character study with Douglas starring as William, a divorced and unemployed L.A. defense engineer who observes a series of incidents that set him off violently against the system. The L.A. riots at the time of filming subject the film to major delays, while, in addition, essentially laying a filmic foundation that platformed a clash of ideologies and worldview, one forming in real-time for Douglas's character whose caucasian ethnicity made him nearly-immune to police suspicion despite the deluge of witnesses making statements to the police.
“The gun issue is one that people feel so passionately about and it doesn’t take a pro or con view but it looks at it from both sides, and hopefully people being entertained. In this day and age, controlling IP is very important and Bob and Andy came up with a very interesting story and we worked to develop it,” he told Deadline. 
“Guntown is rooted in the political,” Quinn and Shapiro said in a statement, “but we wanted to focus the story primarily on the people living within this setting and under these unprecedented circumstances.”
I find the feature and TV potential fascinating here in lieu of such prospects for a project like Guntown. I can recall several times where friends and acquaintances would delve into hypebole over my opinions gun topics (some conversations ended better than others...I'll say that much), and so given the narrative we're being presented, to see some of that ornamentation applied with some creativity to add to the irony for an alternative-reality setting makes it feel somewhat satisfying. And a little humoring.

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