Just ahead of the release of Ezra Claytan Daniels’s Upgrade Soul, for which he was the recipient of the 2017 McDuffie Award for Diversity in Comics, Lion Forge has announced that the moving work of interactive science fiction will be developed by My Friend Dahmer producer Adam Goldworm’s Aperture Entertainment, with Ezra Claytan Daniels to serve as an executive producer.
“Upgrade Soul is the most unsettling yet thought-provoking graphic novel I have read since my old friend Marc Meyers brought me My Friend Dahmer,” says Aperture’s Adam Goldworm. “Ezra creates a magical, romantic, and terrifying vision of the world that asks big, timely questions and slowly peels away our preconceived notions until we end upwith unexpected and uncomfortable answers. Yet throughout the book, romance and hope color every frame, and between these two seemingly opposed worldviews lies the magic of Upgrade Soul and the beauty of Ezra’s creation.”
“My Friend Dahmer is without a doubt one of the greatest comic-to-screen adaptations of all time, and that owes largely to its uncompromising, singular vision,” says Ezra Claytan Daniels. “Aperture’s production on that film makes me confident that the idiosyncrasies of Upgrade Soul won’t have to be smoothed out for it to work as a film.”
Upgrade Soul is the story of an elderly couple who become the guineapigs of a visionary procedure that aims to revivify them by filtering toxins from their bodies on a molecular level. When the procedure experiences a fatal complication, the couple is faced with severely deformed, though intellectually superior, duplicates of themselves. Soon, it becomes clear that only one version of each individual can survive, and the psychological battle for dominance begins.
“Upgrade Soul is, quite simply, one of the best comics I’ve ever read,” says Andrea Colvin, Lion Forge Editor-in-Chief. “It is a poignantly touching examination of love, marriage, intellect, science, ethics, and mortality; but it’s also a thrilling page-turner of a story, with myriad twists and turns, and a breathless finale. I am beyond proud to be publishing this singularly unique book and can’t wait to see how it may be adapted for the screen.”
Adam Goldworm continues, “I think Ezra is the most exciting and unique new voice in comics, and I’m honored that he has let me help bring his masterpiece to the screen. I’ve been reading comics for the last three decades, and Upgrade Soul now sits on my shelf next to Art Spiegelman, Charles Burns, Frank Miller, Neil Gaiman, Alan Moore, and, of course, Derf Backderf. Reading Upgrade Soul, I felt the same sense of joyous discovery that I experienced reading My Friend Dahmer. I was instantly obsessed and knew I needed to see this on the big screen with the same level of quality, sincerity, and humanity that made My Friend Dahmer so impactful.”
Upgrade Soul will be released in finer bookstores everywhere on September 18.