At a time when interest in super hero films is beginning to wane, Paramount is looking to Valiant Comics to swoop in and save the day, as the studio has finally moved to hire a writer for their upcoming adaptation of the comic book publisher’s most-forcefully-marketed heroine, Faith Herbert.
Created by Valiant Comics founder Jim Shooter and artist David Lapham, Faith is a sci-fi, comic book, and pop-culture obsessed young woman who dreams of donning her own set of tights and saving the world.
Luckily for her, after a letter she wrote to the Harbinger Foundation sharing her suspicions that she may be a superhuman catches the attention of the powerful psychic Peter ‘Sting’ Stanchek, Faith discovers that his presence was somehow able to unlock her own personal ability to fly.
Following this sudden awakening of her powers, Faith takes up the superhero identity of Zephyr – a moniker which is routinely ignored in marketing and promotional materials in favor of her real name, ostensibly out of a desire by Valiant to really drive home the character’s ‘relatability’ – and joins up with Peter’s team of teenage ‘Harbinger Renegades’ in their fight to take down the Harbinger Foundation, a multi-national conglomerate who seeks to weaponize and control the Valiant Universe’s superpowered populations.
Unfortunately for Faith, the first leg of her super hero career would end up being short-lived, as the publisher would cease operations in 1994 following the bankruptcy and subsequent insolvency of their parent company, video game developer Acclaim Entertainment (whose library includes such licensed Valiant outings as Shadowman, the Turok series, and Iron Man and X-O Manowar in Heavy Metal.
Remaining dormant for the next roughly twenty years, Faith and her fellow Valiant Comics creations would eventually return in 2012 thanks to a revival of the publisher – now named Valiant Entertainment – spearheaded by investors-turned-joint-company-CEOs Dinesh Shamdasani and Jason Kothari.
The plus-sized flyer in particular would herself specifically return in the fourth issue of the revived Renegades series, her origin nearly identical to her initial incarnation, albeit her choice of communication medium updated from pen-and-paper to the internet.
Thanks to returning during a particularly overbearing period of ‘representation discourse’ within the industry, Faith’s elevated BMI unsurprisingly led to her character becoming a favorite tool for the identity politics obsessed, with her 2016 solo book even being pushed hard by the media solely due to her ‘diversity‘.
“Faith proves that not only can a woman carry her own superhero comic, she doesn’t have to have an idealized body type to do so,” explained said book’s writer, Jody Houser, to Mic.com.
As a result of this astroturfing, Sony Pictures would option Faith in 2018 for her very own solo film.
Set to be penned by Escape Room and Escape Room: Tournament of Champions screenwriter Maria Melnik, the film was planned to be a singular entry into a larger ‘Valiant Cinematic Universe’ envisioned by the studio.
However, these plans would eventually fall through, and just the next year Sony Pictures sold the development rights to a cinematic version of the Valiant Universe to Paramount Pictures.
From there, progress on the endeavor would practically cease until February 2022, at which time the IP’s new owners announced that The Maze Runner franchise director Wes Ball was attached to helm a Harbinger film scripted by Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings co-writer Andrew Lanham.
Unfortunately for the studio, these plans would hit another massive road bump in June 2022 when Ball departed the project in order to give his undivided attention to his upcoming Planet of the Apes sequel, with Brittany Runs a Marathon director Paul Downs Colazzio eventually being named as his replacement.
Following a further eight months of radio silence on the VCU’s development, February 9th would see Paramount provide fans with the surprise update that Faith’s solo flight had found its new writer in filmmaker Emily Carmichael.
First making a name for herself with the pixel-animated web series The Adventures of Ledo and Ix, Carmichael’s career has since taken a turn to Hollywood scriptwriting, with her two most prominent credits currently being Pacific Rim: Uprising and Jurassic World: Dominion (as well as the latter’s related short film, Battle at Big Rock).
As of writing, Faith is considered to be in early development, and as such does not yet have anything close to a confirmed release date.