From comic books like Malignant Man to franchise movies like Saw and The Conjuring, James Wan has successfully gained unmatched success. He frequently writes, directs, and produces his projects. On occasion, he also works as an actor.
So, what's there to know about James's latest flick? Is Malignant based on the 2011 graphic novel he made with Michael Alan Nelson, Malignant Man?
Is 'Malignant' based on 'Malignant Man'?
An homage to Giallo (Italian horror-thrillers heavily drawing on pulp fiction tropes), Malignant tells the story of Madison (Annabelle Wallis), a woman who sees massacres in HD. Madison has a demonic childhood friend, Gabriel (Ray Chase), who can elbow his way into her mind and perform what appears to be a particularly heinous branch of telepathy.
Malignant is based on a story James and his wife, Ingrid Bisu, came up with, and it doesn't have that much to do with the 2011 graphic novel James made with Michael Alan Nelson, titled Malignant Man.
"I describe the movie not just as a genre-bender, but a genre-blender," James told Daily Dead. "It really is a blender of a whole bunch of stuff that has influenced me over my years growing up loving these kinds of movies, from science fiction to science fiction horror to psychological horror to monster movies."
"There's no denying the fact that I have always been a big fan of Italian horror films and, yes, this movie has the aesthetic of a Giallo movie, of the likes of the Bavas and the Argentos of the world," he added. "And body horror definitely is such a big part of this film, too."
A few years back, there were some rumors about James developing an adaptation of Malignant Man for Fox. The graphic novel focuses on the story of Alan Gates, a man who learns that his brain tumor is, in fact, a parasite. Having made this discovery, Alan sets out on a quest to weed out the bad seeds from society while also unveiling the dirtiest secrets from his long-forgotten past.
In other words, Malignant and Malignant Man both revolve around one person grappling with just how far their bodies can go. Since Madison doesn't have a brain tumor or a parasite and Alan's tumor-cum-parasite isn't named Gabriel, we can safely conclude that Malignant is not based on Malignant Man.
In a Facebook post shared on Oct. 24, 2019, James also reiterated that the two projects have similar names, but that's about it.
"Umm, just a little clarification. The film I'm in the midst of shooting right now, Malignant, isn't based on my comic book Malignant Man. It's definitely not a superhero film," James wrote. "Malignant is an original thriller not based on any existing IP. Sorry for the confusion."
A prolific creator, James is also working on 'Insidious: The Dark Realm,' 'Aquaman 2,' and others.
In addition to Malignant, James is working on a medley of new projects, including Insidious: The Dark Realm, Archive 81, and Aquaman 2. Per IMDb, he is also executive producing TV shows like I Know What You Did Last Summer and Samurai Rabbit: The Usagi Chronicles.
As he told That Shelf, Malignant allowed him to expand his repertoire and experiment with a format that doesn't involve jump scares. We can't wait to see what he comes up with next.
Malignant premieres in theatres and on HBO Max on Friday, Sept. 10, 2021.