Stan Lee Horror Universe Being Brought to Screen by Timur Bekmambetov

Before creating some of the biggest heroes in comic book history, Stan Lee worked on some early horror projects which are now being adapted to screen.

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Stan Lee was a giant of the comic book world, and his legacy through the Marvel Cinematic Universe will stand as a testament to that for generations to come. However, while Lee is best known for creating some of the biggest heroes of Marvel Comics’ history, he has done some lesser-known work in the horror genre which is about to be brought to screen via Wanted director Timur Bekmambetov, ZQ Entertainment, and Lee’s own company POW! Entertainment. The two projects being developed are titled Sawbones and Carnival of Killers which pre-date his big Marvel superhero comics of the 1960s.


The two stories are certainly darker than what many have come to expect from Lee’s work with Marvel, and fans of the comic book legend will be very excited to see some of this older work getting some attention after so much time. First up is Sawbones, the story of “frail 12-year old, Alex Covin, who reads a mysterious comic book and is transported into the comic’s terrifying world: a haunted Juvenile Detention Center overrun by demonic forces led by Sawbones, a homicidal entity who preys upon the troubled inmates. Has Alex gone insane? Or is this nightmarish world his new reality? If he is to escape, Alex must find a way to defeat Sawbones, but he quickly comes to realize that Sawbones is the keeper of his darkness and the personification of all his fears.”

Then we have Carnival of Killers, a tale “set amid the Dust Bowl storms that ravaged the American Great Plains in the 1930s, centers around a young girl with psychic abilities who senses that the traveling carnival she and her mother sought refuge in is ground zero for a looming alien invasion.”

“There is no other mastermind who has created more successful entertainment than Stan Lee. I’m excited to bring to the screen the darker side of his creative genius and imagination,” Bekmambetov said to Deadline.

“Some fans may not know this, but Stan Lee wrote several horror comic book series in the 1940s and 1950s before superhero comics became big in the 1960s,” Gill Champion, POW! Entertainment’s president added. “Stan relished revisiting the genre a few years ago when he wrote these stories, and we are excited to bring them to life with a director as visionary as Timur Bekmambetov. We think fans will be surprised to experience a darker side of Stan Lee that they’ve never witnessed before!”

When it comes to the work of Stan Lee, there have been few people to have made such a lasting mark on the world of comic books, TV, movies and pop culture, and with these early stories being brought to the screen, showing yet another side to his legacy, his work is going to find its way into the lives of more people who perhaps don’t get excited by the constant stream of Marvel movies but could well be on board for something a bit darker. There is currently no information available on expected release dates, or casts, but the two movies will be adapted by Kevin Kolsch, Dennis Widmyer and Matt Greenberg, who between them previously worked on the latest Pet Sematary adaptation as well as the likes of 1408, Halloween H20 and Reign of Fire.

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