How COVID-19 killed the 'Bloodshot' box office dream

New Delhi, April 2 (IANS) Vin Diesels "Bloodshot" released when movie theatres around the world were either already shut or in the process of shutting down due to the coronavirus pandemic, and a producer of the superhero film says the event was a "true black swan" moment for the film.

Diesel took on the superhero avatar for the film "Bloodshot" to tell the story of a super-soldier Ray, aka the superhero Bloodshot, who is brought back from the dead by a corporation through the use of nanotechnology. It is directed by Dave Wilson.

" ‘Bloodshot' starring Vin Diesel was released on Friday, March 13. Unfortunately, the coronavirus made it the lowest box office in 22 years, a true black swan event for ‘Bloodshot' after 26 years of dreaming about this movie and 8 years since work began on it. Despite that, I'm happy this dream became a reality even if it was an imperfect one," the film's executive producer Jason Kothari told IANS.

The film opened in March. Sony Pictures Entertainment India released "Bloodshot" in India on March 13.

The superhero appeared in books published by the publisher Valiant Comics. "Bloodshot", first published in 1992, was created by Kevin VanHook, Don Perlin, and Bob Layton for Valiant. The character originated when Layton read a magazine article about nanites-machines measured in nanometers, millionths of millimeters. Over its comic book run, "Bloodshot" totalled 110 issues with more than 7.5 million copies sold.

Looking back at the process of bringing the "Bloodshot" story alive on the big screen, Kothari said: "‘Bloodshot' is one the most popular characters from the Valiant Universe, one of the most popular universes of superheroes. Valiant holds a special place in my heart, not only because I was a first-time entrepreneur as the CEO of Valiant, but because it was an idea built by the dreams of my youth.

"I got introduced to Valiant by my father when I was 12 years old – he gave me Bloodshot Issue #1, and I literally imagined the movie when I read it. Later, when I was studying at Wharton, I got a chance to buy a then bankrupt Valiant with the hope of rescuing and resurrecting my childhood favourite company. For the next few years, I led the transformation of the company as the CEO to the third largest superhero entertainment company after Marvel and DC Comics and a sale for $100 million," he added.

Kothari, who has also just released his first book "Irrationally Passionate: My Turnaround From Rebel To Entrepreneur" published by HarperCollins, said he "helped develop the screenplay for ‘Bloodshot' and signed the movie deal for the character".

"It took another 8 years for the movie to make it to the big screen and it was released on March 13, 2020. From a 12 year old fan's dream to an executive producer of the movie and seeing it on the big screen, it has truly been a full circle and ‘dream come true' experience for me," he said.

Asked if any other superhero can be introduced from the universe of Valiant Comics, Kothari said: "As a life-long Valiant fan, more than even being the former CEO of Valiant or an executive producer of ‘Bloodshot', there are many Valiant superheroes I would absolutely love to see on the big screen – in particular, Harbinger, Shadowman, Eternal Warrior and X-O Manowar."

"Valiant characters are some of the most multi-dimensional, edgy and relatable superhero characters ever created. They're also fascinating high-concepts - for example, X-O Manowar is the most primitive man on the planet with the most technologically advanced weapon, sort of a Conan the Barbarian meets Iron Man. There is a lot of potential with the Valiant Universe," said Kothari.

(Sugandha Rawal can be contacted at sugandha.r@ians.in)

--IANS

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