Comic written by Shad Gaspard and Muhammad Hassan picked up for potential movie
A comic book co-created and co-written by the late Shad Gaspard has been picked up for development as a film.
State Street Pictures has optioned the “Assassin & Son” comic book for development as a movie, according to Deadline. The comic was created and written by former WWE Superstars Gaspard and Marc Copani, known to fans as Muhammad Hassan.
The comic tells the story of Donovan Braddock, a one-man killing unit who works with a team of covert assassins known as The Horsemen. Braddock finds love and makes a family of his own, and attempts to leave the life of violence behind, but he finds that his old life still torments him when his wife is murdered in front of him and his young son. Now with nothing to live for, Braddock and his son are sent on an epic journey of revenge and consequence.
The “Assassin & Son” comic was illustrated by Eder Messias, and published by Scout Comics & Entertainment, who will also produce the feature film adaptation alongside State Street. It was noted that Gaspard and Copani teamed up to write the comic after retiring from pro wrestling. Gaspard passed away shortly before the first issue was published.
Don Handfield of Scout Comics recalled meeting Gaspard at San Diego Comic-Con in 2019, and said he’s happy Gaspard’s legacy can live on through this new partnership.
“We met Shad at San Diego Comic-Con in 2019. He was known for his brawn in the world of wrestling, but what we were taken by was his humor, intelligence and creative genius,” Handfield said. “We were blown away by his and Marc’s comic, and we’re proud to bring it to the world. We are happy that his legacy has a chance to live on through this partnership with State Street.”
State Street Creative Executive Lawrence Mott added, “We’re thrilled at the opportunity to bring Shad and Marc’s comic to life. What excites us creatively is the balance of hard-hitting action and emotional themes presented in the source material.”
Below is a cover photo of the original comic released in November 2020. The issue was initially scheduled for an April 2020 release, but Shad’s passing and COVID-19 delays pushed the date back until November of that year. There was one variant released, of just 1000 copies, with proceeds going to the Gaspard family. You can also see that photo below, courtesy of Copani’s Instagram account.
Copani currently works as the principal of Fulton Junior High School in Fulton, NY. After signing a WWE developmental deal in 2002, Copani eventually found controversial success as the Hassan character until he was released in September 2005. He then announced his retirement, went back to college and got into education, staying away from pro wrestling until a brief indie run for The Dynasty promotion in 2018. He has said he will never wrestle again due to his career in education.
Gaspard passed away at the age of 39 on May 17, 2020 after he and his 10 year old son were among a group of swimmers who were swept away by a strong rip current while in the ocean at Venice Beach, CA. First responders hit the water to rescue the swimmers, but Gaspard told them to save his son first, and they did, which saved his son’s life. Shad was reportedly then hit by a large wave and he went under. A search and rescue operation was then launched but Shad’s body washed ashore three days later. Gaspard worked for WWE from 2002-2007, and then returned for another run that went from 2008-2010. He was posthumously honored with the Warrior Award at the WWE Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony last month. Gaspard continued to wrestle after his last run with WWE, working the indies as a singles competitor, and teaming up with JTG to keep their Cryme Tyme tag team going. Gaspard was also involved in other projects at the time of his passing, such as acting and stunt work.
There’s no word yet on when the “Assassin & Son” movie will begin production or when it might be released, but stay tuned as we will keep you updated.