Hollywood Movies

Josh Gad to Co-Write Comic Book ‘The Writer’

April 5, 20244 Mins Read

Some years ago, Josh Gad received an out of the blue email from Frank Miller, someone whom he had never met.

The legendary comic creator behind The Dark Knight Returns and Sin City asked Gad, the stage and screen actor who is also the voice of Olaf in Disney’s Frozen movies, if he would be interested in writing a comic book. Miller believed Gad would be good at it.

“I was petrified,” Gad tells The Hollywood Reporter. “I didn’t think I was capable of it. Conceptually, I didn’t have a way into it and make personal and create something worthy of people’s time.” He politely replied to Miller and declined his invitation.

In the intervening years, however, Gad found his voice, so to speak. Though Miller is not involved, the actor now has co-written a comic that will be published by indie powerhouse Dark Horse Comics starting June.

Written with Ben and Max Berkowitz, The Writer is a four-issue mini-series with art by Ariel Olivetti, a veteran penciller who has worked for Marvel and DC on such titles as Daredevil and Punisher War Journal. And it features a hero is looks a lot like Gad.

The comic introduces readers to Stan Siegel, an already established author known for his heroic and fantastical comic books. However, his life takes an unexpected and dark turn when he is plunged into a Nazi occult-fueled nightmare, filled with hidden identities, high-speed chases, and demonic chaos. The schlubby writer will be forced to becoming the hero from his pages and show that the pen is mightier than the sword.

The idea originated with the Berkowitzes, who grew up on a steady diet of comics, movies, Saturday morning cartoons and cereal. The brothers saw an alarming trend of characters having their Jewish attributes being erased in Hollywood adaptations.

“Jewish identities were being erased from comic to screen,” says Ben Berkowitz, who as a child ate the paper of a mini Torah in the hopes it would imbue him with powers. “We wanted to build a story that was representative of where we come from, all the mythology and folklore of where we come from, and have a character that is unique and fun and inspired by all the movies we saw as kids.”

The Berkowitz were connected to Gad via his manager at Sugar23, the same firm that represents the brothers, and the three began cooking. Finally, Gad felt a personal link and his imagination was lit.

“I’ve always had a proclivity for mythological folklore and everything  steeped religious dark arts, going back to my obsession with Raiders of the Lost Ark and the mythology of the Ark of the Covenant,” he says. “There’s a lot of movies and series and comics that deal with various mythologies , whether they be Norse or Christian, but not so much of the Jewish mysticism. What a fertile ground to create a character.”

The story combine those elements with a look at the pitfalls of the creative process, while also paying an homage to comics books (the hero’s name is taken from comic writers Stan Lee, co-creator of Spider-Man, and Jerry Siegel, co-creator of Superman).

Max Berkowitz reached out to Olivetti through Instagram and convinced the established artist the project would be worth his while.

“I’m in the lucky position to choose projects that truly resonate, the kind that leave a lasting impression both on me and the readers,” the Argentinian-based illustrator said in a statement. “When I first read the script from Josh and the Berkowitz Bros., it was clear this was one of those rare, unforgettable projects.”

The first issue of The Writer hits June 19. Check out the trailer, featuring voicework by Gad, below, as well as the covers to issue 1 and 4.  

The Writer - Official Trailer - Dark Horse Comics -- Josh Gad, Berkowitz Brothers

The Writer Comic

The Writer Comic

Courtesy of Dark Horse Comics

The Writer 4

The Writer 4

Dark Horse Comics

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