Iron Man 3 writer and director Shane Black is moving into animation with a new comedy project at Fox. Black, who also wrote the first two Lethal Weapon movies, is developing Crag Banyon P.I., based on James Mullaney’s book series.
Black and Mullaney will write and exec produce the project, which will also be exec produced by Stampede Ventures’ David Silverman, Greg Silverman and Paul Shapiro; Greenlit’s David Greenblatt; and Vinson Films’ Tripp Vinson.
If the project receives a presentation order at the network, David Silverman, who helmed The Simpsons Movie, will direct. It currently has a script commitment with Fox Entertainment as the studio.
Crag Banyon P.I follows the supernatural adventures of Banyon, an alcoholic ex-cop and current private investigator, as he solves cases in an alternate noir, otherworldly reality. Mullaney has written seven books in the series including One Horse Open Slay and Bum Luck.
Black previously worked with Mullaney with a feature film adaptation of Mullaney’s The Destroyer, which was in development with Sony Pictures Entertainment. The project also reunites Black and Greg Silverman, who collaborated on 2016’s The Nice Guys starring Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling.
Fox shows no sign of slowing down its pipeline of animation development. The network has hybrid animated/single-cam project Demi-God from Bella and the Bulldogs writer Katie Greenway, a semi-autobiographical animated comedy project from former Superior Donuts star Jermaine Fowler, and it gave a script commitment to Ocean Village from Daniel Cardenas Katz.
Fox’s President of Entertainment Michael Thorn told Deadline in January that animation was a “key part” of its business and that it wants to build on this legacy.