Deadline reports that Jackson will steer the project through his production company, G-Unit Film & Television, in tandem with Color Farm Media’s Erika Alexander and Ben Arnon. Xerø creator Christopher Priest is also linked to the project, with Joseph Illidge – CEO of production and publishing company Illuminous – rounding out the production team.
Notable is that the Xerø film will be a wholly independent production, with neither DC nor WarnerMedia involved in the project. Though DC was behind Xerø’s launch in 1997, the series’ rights reverted back to Priest in 2008. The comic ran for a single 12-issue run between ’97 and ’98, but has since grown a cult following.
It followed the story of Coltrane/Trane Walker, a Black athlete and government agent who would disguise himself as Caucasian to conduct his secret operations. He was killed during his first mission, but was resurrected by the experimental X-enzyme. The enzyme made him a cold-blooded killer with no emotional or moral compass, but gave him powerful abilities like intangibility (allowing him to phase through objects and walk on water) and laser eyes.
In a statement shared with Deadline, Jackson hinted that Walker’s origins may be reappropriated for the film (and potential franchise). He said: “There’s no one better than Christopher Priest to bring G-Unit Film & Television into the world of comic book superheroes. Watch as we build Xerø into a franchise alongside Christopher and Color Farm Media. I can’t wait for the world to meet Trane Walker in an all new way.”
Priest himself expanded on Jackson’s sentiment, adding: “Xerø depicts a slow-moving car wreck at the intersection of race and class. The commonality of struggle represented by the life experiences of Curtis ‘50 Cent’ Jackson, G-Unit Film & Television and Color Farm assure a broad depth of first-hand appreciation for that delicate balance. It’s exciting to be working together to create this new world.”
Illidge called Xerø “the perfect action hero for our times in a story that is equal parts James Bond and James Baldwin”, and said that G-Unit’s “legacy of courageous, edge-of-your-seat thrillers about complex protagonists makes them the perfect partner to spearhead this franchise”.
Meanwhile, 50 Cent performed alongside Eminem, Dr. Dre, Kendrick Lamar, Snoop Dogg, Mary J. Blige and Anderson .Paak at this year’s Super Bowl Halftime Show. He opened his surprise segment by performing upside down, echoing the video for his 2003 single ‘In Da Club’.