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Wed, 20 Feb ’13

Comic Book Day: It’s Time for a Queen & Country Film

If Zero Dark Thirty and Skyfall had a baby…

The movies of 2012 may have finally ushered in an age of comic book movie that has the potential to win Best Picture at the Academy Awards. The Avengers and Dark Knight Rises weren’t nominated, but the stage is set for a comic book inspired film that should be made for 2014. The success of Zero Dark Thirty, Skyfall and Argo this awards season have put a bullseye on Greg Rucka’s Eisner-winning Queen & Country. The adventures of Secret Intelligence Service (MI-6) agent Tara Chace were a revelation to comics fans when the book was introduced via Oni Press in 2001. Greg Rucka was building a solid reputation as an indie comics writer who specialized in strong female leads and unique procedural angles. Queen & Country was inspired by a BBC series Greg Rucka loved called The Sandbaggers, which focused on MI-6 during the Cold War. From there, Rucka created a unique blend of espionage, counter-terrorism and strong, character-driven storytelling that would last through 32 issues and several novels worth of critical success.

Rucka moved on to a successful run on Wonder Woman and reintroduced the world to Batwoman, but we’re ready for the writer to revisit Queen & Country as a film. The frank nature of the comic, the geo-political climate of the Middle East and Greg Rucka’s commitment to detail and accuracy make Queen & Country not just good reading for comic book fans, but also a plain speak representation of espionage in the modern world. The book is considered by many to be accurate enough to be used as a text in a variety of college programs and a playbook for higher ups facing similar issues. In her intro for Rucka’s Batwoman: Elegy, Rachel Maddow wrote, “I confess to once giving a copy of Greg Rucka’s Queen and Country: Operation Broken Ground to a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee because I thought it might be helpful to the Senator.” What other comic have you heard of being on the floor of the Senate for something other than censorship hearings?

Films like Zero Dark Thirty, Skyfall, Argo, Tinker Tailor and even Haywire have shown that audiences want intelligent secret-intelligence movies and performances from the likes of Jessica Chastain, Gina Carano and Naomie Harris have proven that a good spy movie doesn’t have to be a boy’s club. When last we checked, Queen & Country was optioned by Fox, but there has been little movement in recent years. In the wake of the year of the spy, Hollywood is pouncing on old-school, high-minded spy flicks and we think the time for Tara Chace on screen draws nigh. Someone get Greg Rucka on the line!