By Mike Flemming, Deadline

EXCLUSIVE: Warner Brothers won an auction for Chariot, a feature pitch package that has Top Gun: Maverick helmer Joseph Kosinski directing an adaptation of the graphic novel recently published by Artists, Writers and Artisans (AWA).

The film will be scripted by Julian Meiojas, whose recent credits include Jack Ryan and The Flash. 21 Laps’ Shawn Levy and Dan Cohen are producing with Kosinski. AWA’s Zach Studin is the exec producer, and the project is the first for recently formed AWA Studios, the film and TV arm of the graphic fiction publisher. This is AWA’s first project, but there are more coming behind it.

Chariot is based on the graphic novel written by comic book creator and screenwriter Bryan Edward Hill (American Carnage, Bitter Root), drawn by Priscilla Petraites (Rat Queens) and edited by AWA Chief Creative Officer Axel Alonso. The pic was sold as a synthwave sci-fi thriller with strong roles for two A-list actors. The Chariot was a Cold War-era secret government project to provide its star agent with a weapon unlike any other in the form of a state-of-the-art sports car. It sank into the ocean decades ago, the agent along with it. A petty criminal looking to reform his life has stumbled upon the Chariot, and he’s about to find out that the agent’s consciousness is still controlling it.

The Kosinski-directed Top Gun: Maverick reteams the director with Oblivion star Tom Cruise, and Paramount releases that film November 19. Kosinski is in postproduction on the Netflix filmEscape From Spiderhead, which stars Chris Hemsworth, Miles Teller and Jurnee Smollet.

Rebecca Cho will oversee for Warner Brothers. Kosinski is repped by CAA and Hirsch Wallerstein.

Most recently co-EP on HBO Max’s Ridley Scott series Raised by Wolves, Meiojas is adapting his novella DNA for Amazon and Simon Kinberg’s Genre Films. Meiojas is repped by CAA, Grandview and Jackoway.

Levy’s 21 Laps has the fourth season of Stranger Things upcoming at Netflix, and he directed the Ryan Reynolds starrer Free Guy, set for release by Disney on August 13. Levy also wrapped The Adam Project. 21 Laps is WME and Ziffren.

AWA is repped by Grandview.

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