EXCLUSIVE: Jason Howden (Guns Akimbo) will co-write and direct a film adaptation of his first comic series Monsters of Metal, which launches with its first issue via Opus Comics on October 19.
Penned by Howden and Llexi Leon (Iron Maiden’s “Speed of Light”), who founded Opus Comics and its parent company Incendium, the comic was conceived as an R-rated mockumentary — a cross between Spinal Tap and The Monster Squad, which sees a group of beloved horror icons team up to form a heavy metal band.
Frankenstein’s monster (named Frank) and his bandmates Medusa, Jack O’Lantern, Werewolf and the Bride have spent the last few centuries squatting in Dracula’s castle – unbeknown to their slumbering host. But after a band rehearsal gets out of hand and wakes the fearsome vamp, the group gets booted from the castle and are forced to hit the road. As Frank and the band take their act on tour, they find themselves fighting off crazed groupies, monster hunters and fellow crypt creatures in a darkly comic tale that puts the death in “death metal.”
Monsters of Metal is an original property of Opus Comics, the publisher behind the bestselling Death Dealer comic book series, based on Frank Frazetta’s original artwork. Luis Guaranga created the art for its first issue, with Ryan Christensen crafting its covers.
Howden and Leon penned the script for the feature adaptation, which Incendium will produce as the first in a slate of titles entering development for film and television, with more to be announced soon. Leon will also exec produce on behalf of Incendium.
“Working with Llexi and the team has been fantastic,” said Howden. “They’re like-minded fanatics of the metal and horror subcultures and don’t want to water it down, creating mind-blowing stories for established music acts while being true to their brands. We’re all dedicated to producing entertainment that feels genuine to hardcore fans, and is a great introduction to the genres for wider audiences. I can’t wait to sink my teeth into this!”
“I am hugely excited to be working with Jason on the feature adaptation of Monsters of Metal,” added Leon. “It was a blast writing the series together and he’s the ideal filmmaker to bring this project to screen. Fans of messy horror, dark comedy, and heavy metal are in for a treat.”
Howden is an acclaimed writer, director and visual effects artist from New Zealand who broke out in 2019 with his Toronto-premiering action-comedy Guns Akimbo, starring Daniel Radcliffe and Samara Weaving. The feature, following Miles (Radcliffe) as he relies on his newly-acquired gladiator skills to save his ex-girlfriend from kidnappers, was distributed by Saban Films. Prior to that project, Howden wrote and directed the 2015 horror-comedy, Deathgasm. His visual effects work has appeared in such notable titles as The Beatles: Get Back, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, and War for the Planet of the Apes, among many others.
Founded by writer and creative director Leon in 2021, Opus Comics launched with over a dozen comic book titles based on some of the world’s best-known music-related IP including Bill and Ted: Roll the Dice, Frazetta’s Death Dealer and Evanescence: Echoes from the Void. The company is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Incendium, a full-spectrum creative and production house with comics, merchandising, interactive and animation divisions.
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