Course graduate David Pepose will be seeing his neo-noir crime thriller Spencer & Locke head to the big screen! The Action Lab comic, written by David and featuring art by Jorge Santiago, Jr., launched in April and features a unique story blending neo-noir with grown-up fantasy. A detective’s childhood sweetheart turns up murdered, and the only partner who can help him solve it is his imaginary friend.

Adrian Askarieh, best known as the producer behind the Hitman movies, inked a two-year, first-look deal with the team, and plans to submit it to Constantin Film… which happens to be behind a little franchise called Resident Evil.

David says, “The Spencer & Locke movie option was definitely a confluence of a lot of things coming together at just the right moment. I’m a big believer that no one will love a book or advocate for a book more than its creators, and so we pushed really hard to both press outlets and comics retailers to get them as invested in the book as we were.”

He credits the positive critical and popular buzz surrounding the comic as a major factor in landing the film adaptation.

“Ultimately, that critical momentum and positive word-of-mouth helped put us in the right place in the right time — namely, when I found out that Adrian and I shopped at the same comic book store, and that the owner of our store had recommended he read Spencer & Locke. So the moral of this story — always be cool to your local comics shop!”

Adrian is closely involved with the team, and David met with him at San Diego Comic Con to go over possible future Spencer & Locke stories. Although changes will be inevitable in the translation between mediums, everyone is involved with the project this far is excited to see how the characters and the world evolve.

“It’s that unique distillation of what makes a particular property tick, while putting them in the kind of adventure that’s accessible to a wider audience,” says David. “I’m sure certain bits of our book won’t make it from page to screen, and that’s okay — I’d probably be disappointed if our story didn’t keep building and evolving as we make the jump to the big screen.”

No matter where the creative brainstorming takes the project, David’s metric for success stands as evergreen advice for comics creators who want to see their work turned into a movie: “The most important thing for any adaptation is just maintaining the integrity of our characters, keeping the tone of our world, and not shying away from the themes of our story.”