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5 Questions With Actor-Turned-Graphic Novelist Chad Michael Murray

Chad Michael Murray
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We've seen actors branch out into all kinds of side careers, from rapping and banjoing to running an NFL franchise or a hamburger joint.

Chad Michael Murray – best known for making hearts throb on TV's "One Tree Hill" and movies like "House of Wax" and "A Cinderella Story" – now adds "graphic novelist" to his resume's job history with "Everlast," a dark but spiritual tale about a hard-edged "soul-saver" in the days leading up to the apocalypse.

We geeked out with the amicable Buffalo, New York, native at October's New York Comic-Con to cast the inevitable movie version.

Everlast
Archaia Entertainment

So what inspired you to start writing graphic novels?
I can tell you that the story was inspired by a man who showed up on my doorstep, preaching about the end of the world, and he goes, "144,000 people are going to be let survive the End of Days. Do you want to be one of them?" And at that point I'm just like okay, I want to hear it. And it was really interesting. I heard this guy's story and then I just kind of swallowed this idea and I went inside my house, and I just kind of contemplated it for a long time and thought, "What if it was true?"

Out of that I created Derek (Everlast), a soldier whose job it is to find people who are destined to survive the End of Days. And I just saw this as the greatest platform to launch it. It's a really cool platform because you can do a little bit of everything with a little bit of ink. An incredible artist, obviously, can blow up your world for you, blow up a building instead of having to actually spend lots of production dollars, actually doing that, like some people.

So with a faith-based theme are you looking at a religious audience?
There's religious stuff, but I would say it's more of a spiritual journey. It's kind of about choice and your own decisions within your own self and faith. It's really about choice. We don't really define anything.

So many movies are inspired by graphic novels. Can you see this one playing out on the big screen?
I can because when I originally saw it, I saw it as a screenplay. I saw it as a film. I saw it as a really cool, vast world. I saw it as "Constantine" meets "The Crow." I can see the journey in this man, and I think it would be a really interesting tale to tell because he's a really flawed character, which is what I really love about him.

Let's play fantasy casting. Who do you want in the movie?
Fantasy cast. I would love to see ... I'll say it, why not? Fantasy cast? You've got Johnny Depp, Keanu Reeves, one of them as Derek. Brad Pitt as Stavros. Morgan Freeman as Hutch. See, the girl needs to be a little younger, but tough. The girl is the toughest casting. I see Natalie Portman, but she'd have to be blonde. I see like a Natalie Portman-esque style. That would be a dream cast.

And then of course you'd have to do the Stan Lee cameo.
I will do background work. Absolutely background work. Save some budget.

Chad Michael Murray will be signing copies of "Everlast" in stores around North America over the next month. Get the full schedule here.

 

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