Influential graphic novel The Incal heading to the big screen with director Nicolas Winding Refn

Nicolas Refn

I'm not sure if it was before or after Nicolas Refn's latest film ONLY GOD FORGIVES was booed at last month's Cannes Film Festival but apparently during his time in France he revealed what his next project might be. The news is just making its way over here but in an interview with France Inter the director revealed that he has started work on adapting Alejandro Jodorowsky and Moebius' The Incal. The comic debuted in 1981 and although it isn't that popular in America many consider it one of the greatest comic series of all time.


The story begins in the dystopian capital city of an insignificant planet in a human-dominated galactic empire. (The Bergs, aliens who resemble featherless birds and reside in a neighboring galaxy, make up another power bloc.) DiFool receives the Light Incal, a crystal of enormous powers, from a dying Berg. The Incal is then sought by many factions: the Bergs; the corrupt and decadent government of the great pit-city; the rebel group Amok; and the Church of Industrial Saints (commonly referred to as the Techno-Technos or the Technopriests), a sinister technocratic cult which worships the Dark Incal. Animah (an allusion to anima), the keeper of the Light Incal, seeks it as well.

And here's an awesome description of John DiFool, the lead in the series.

A P.I. and occasional bodyguard. DiFool has no interest in being a hero, has mood swings and suffers from self-doubt and temper tantrums in which he threatens to walk away and assume a comfortable life, preferably with Animah. He has a fondness for cigars, 'ouisky' and 'homeosluts' (gynoid prostitutes).

The graphic novel might sound familiar to fans of THE FIFTH ELEMENT. Apparently the creators of the comic (unsuccessfully) tried to sue director Luc Besson at one point because they felt his movie borrowed graphics and story elements from The Incal.

Nicolas Refn is certainly a unique director and I'm very intrigued to see what he can do with a sci-fi setting like this. Although I haven't read The Incal I can definitely see how it has influenced a lot of artist and writers for comics today. Refn has talked about a number of projects he'd like to do but I really hope he picks THE INCAL to be his next film.

Extra Tidbit: Writer Alejandro Jodorowsky and artist Moebius both also have experience in films. Jodorowsky has directed (EL TOPO, THE HOLY MOUNTAIN, THE RAINBOW THIEF) while has Moebius done storyboard and concept designs for films such as ALIEN, WILLOW and TRON.



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