50 upcoming comic book TV shows, and when to expect them
Briggs Land and The Punisher join our 40-strong (and then some) list of upcoming comic book TV shows...
Latest update: The Punisher and Briggs Land added.
It’s a wonderful time to be a TV-binging comic book fan. In fact, if you were a little tactical about your viewing habits (and not too fussy in your Marvel/DC/indie preference), we’re approaching a state where you could probably fill an ‘all the soap operas’ shaped hole in your schedule every day with the stuff of capes, cowls and crime-fighting.
Of course, this isn't an altogether new thing - the 1960's Batman series, Smallville and Lois & Clark (among others) all pre-empted society's current obsession with small screen superheroics. For the last few years, Arrow, The Flash, Gotham, Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D., Agent Carter, The Walking Dead and Daredevil have been refining this age-old formula for transferring primary coloured panels into addictive televisual entertainment.
Now, the genre has reached something of a critical mass, with no less than 45 comic-book-inspired projects currently on the slates of various broadcast networks and online platforms. It's a lot to keep up with, so here's our primer on every comic book TV show currently in development, including returning favourites, speculative pilots and confirmed new shows...
CONFIRMED NEW PROPERTIES
Greg Berlanti of Arrow, The Flash, Legends Of Tomorrow, Vixen and Supergirl overseeing fame is working on another comic book-inspired show. Avoiding superheroes for once, he's producing Riverdale, a show about Archie comics characters.
Set to air on The CW and with a pilot episode written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, the show has been described as “a surprising and subversive take on Archie, Betty, Veronica and their friends, exploring the surrealism of small town life — the darkness and weirdness bubbling beneath Riverdale’s wholesome façade.”
Having debuted to much fanfare during Daredevil season 2, Jon Bernthal's Frank Castle - AKA The Punisher - will return in his own Netflix series. Hannibal's Steve Lightfoot is executive producing, but it's too early to tell when this one will reach our screens. Expect lots of shooting.
Cloak And Dagger
Marvel has ordered a full season of Cloak And Dagger, and it's destined for ABC's young-people-friendly network Freeform (formerly ABC Family). The show will tell the story of New York runaways Tandy and Tyrone, covering how they gained superpowers and began beating up drug dealers.
A TV Preacher adaptation by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, who previously wrote and directed This Is The End together, is on the way.
Preacher is based on Garth and Steve Dillon’s comic of the same name, which saw Reverend Jesse Custer gain amazing powers, learn that God has bailed on Heaven, and embark on a bit of a rampage to set things right.
Its home network will be AMC, which has previously brought us Breaking Bad and Mad Men. Dominic Cooper played Rev. Custer in the pilot episode, with a strong supporting cast that included Joseph Gilgun (Rudy from Misfits), Tom Brooke (Wiggy from Sherlock series 3) and Ruth Negga (Raina from Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.). We assume most of them will return for the show proper.
Luke Cage is Marvel’s latest Defenders-pre-empting Netflix series. On 30th September 2016, you can expect 13 simultaneously-released episodes to appear on the streaming service with Mike Colter in the title role.
On top of his scenes in Jessica Jones, you might recognise Mr Colter from Xbox’s Halo: Nightfall series, American Horror Story: Coven and/or The Good Wife.
If you’re not familiar with Power Man, the essential facts are that he’s an ex-con (he was imprisoned for a crime he didn’t commit, and that’s not where the Mr T similarities end) who becomes a bulletproof, super-strong bad-ass.
And now for the last and most obscure of the Marvel standalone Netflix series that will pre-empt the hefty Defenders crossover event – Iron Fist, the story of a martial artist who uses the mystical ‘iron fist’ force to summon and control his chi. Essentially, he’s a bit punchy-kicky and bit magical.
Iron Fist never quite made it to the big leagues of the superhero world. Instead, he hangs around with the likes of Daredevil and Luke Cage in the grittier side of the Marvel universe.
Mr Fist (real name Daniel Rand) has posed as Daredevil to help protect Matt Murdock before, and played a minor role to that effect in Marvel's Civil War... could something like this happen in his series? Maybe.
Finn Jones - AKA Game Of Thrones’ Ser Loras Tyrell - recently landed the part of Daniel Rand/Iron Fist. The series seems likely to arrive in 2017, at the earliest.
This crossover event will bring together the stars of Marvel’s Daredevil and Jessica Jones, as well as the casts of the upcoming Luke Cage and Iron Fist shows. The latest intel from one Charlie Cox suggests that filming is due to begin as early as this year.
Who will they be fighting? When will it be on? Will it tie into any big screen movies? We know the answers to precisely zero of those questions, sorry.
What we do know is that the superhero team-up will take place ‘multiple years’ after Daredevil premiered in April 2015, so we’d advise against getting too excited just yet. However, it’s a superhero crossover that embraces the online age, so we’re fairly pumped despite our own advice.
The Walking Dead's comic book creator and Fear The Walking Dead exec producer Robert Kirkman now has another show in development - Outcast. Ten episodes have been ordered by Cinemax, a sibling network to The Walking Dead's HBO.
As he is with The Walking Dead, Kirkman will be actively involved in the transition - he wrote the successful pilot episode and will serve as a producer throughout.
The series will focus on Kyle Barnes (Patrick Fugit, Almost Famous) who, as a child, suffered repeatedly from possession. As an adult, he goes looking for answers from Reverend Anderson (Philip Glenister, Life On Mars). Together they share a journey into some very horrific territory. Adam Wingard of The Guest directed the pilot. The series kicks off in the States on June 3rd 2016, before reaching UK screens - via FOX - on June 7th.
CONFIRMED RETURNING SHOWS
Arrow season 5
Arrow proved to be the launching pad for a whole slate of superhero shows on The CW. It's now been confirmed that the Stephen Amell-starring show will return for a fifth season as part of the fall 2016/2017 TV season. Expect more bows, arrows and brooding.
The Flash season 3
The Flash has also been renewed by The CW. Season 3 of the Grant Gustin-starring superhero show will land later this year, as part of the 2016/2017 fall TV season. It seems safe to say there will be plenty of running, and probably a new big bad.
Legends Of Tomorrow season 2
The CW has also renewed its time travel-themed superhero show Legends Of Tomorrow. A second season is already in the planning stages, but it's unclear if the exact line-up of season 1 will all return. Perhaps some new faces will sign up. John Constantine, anyone?
Gotham season 3
David Mazouz's mini Bruce Wayne will edge ever closer to becoming Batman as Gotham returns for a third season in autumn 2016.
Jessica Jones season 2
Jessica Jones will also return for a second season, it's been confirmed. Krysten Ritter will be back in the title role, of course. One thing we don't know, however, is when exactly Marvel will slot this one in. It looks like it'll be 2017 at the earliest, since Daredevil season 2 and Luke Cage season 1 are already hogging the Netflix superhero schedule for this year.
Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 4
S.H.I.E.L.D.'s finest/most available Agents will return for a fourth season on ABC. Expect more adventures adjacent to the main Marvel Cinematic Universe to reach your telly-box around September 2016.
Powers season 2
Powers caused a bit of fuss for itself upon its release. Despite being produced by Sony, for distribution via PlayStation, the decision was made to only make the show available in America. The PlayStation should have been a doorway to loads of markets, but instead the show ended up just as inaccessible to British fans as any number of network shows that don’t travel over the Atlantic via legal routes.
Regardless, Sony and PlayStation have decided to give the show another shot. Sharlto Copley’s Detective Walker and Susan Heyward’s Detective Pilgrim will return for season 2. Anyone who watched season 1 was given a pretty big clue regarding season 2’s plot, but we won’t spoil that here (we discuss it in detail here, though, if you're up-to-date).
The show deals with policing a superhero world, and is based on brilliant comic book run by Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming. Season 2 premieres on US PlayStations on May 31st 2016.
The Walking Dead season 7
The Walking Dead will return in October 2016, with a seventh season that will kick off right where season 6 left off - with Rick and the gang kneeling before the evil Negan, with one of them battered in the head by his baseball bat of doom.
To tide you over during this long wait, we've got a dissection of Negan's comic book origins right here and some reactions to the finale from the brains behind the show over here. Also, here's our review of that discussion-starting season 6 finale.
Fear The Walking Dead season 3
As a spin-off from The Walking Dead TV series, you could argue that Fear The Walking Dead isn't strictly a comic book show in of itself. Regardless, we added it to the list because we thought you'd like to know that the zombie-infested spin-off will return for a third season after its second one has been and gone.
PROJECTS IN ACTIVE DEVELOPMENT
AMC is developing a comic book TV series inspired by the Dark Horse property Briggs Land. The comic book run, written by Brian Wood, hasn’t even reached shelves yet. It’s all about an ant-government group who control an area of rural wilderness. The series will chart the rise of Grace Briggs, who takes leadership of the colony and seeks to shake thing up in a big way. The government, it seems safe to assume, won’t be too pleased.
It’s been announced, but not much else is known of this Superman prequel. We do know, of course, that it will take place on Kal-El’s home-world before it – spoiler alert! - blew up and Supes got sent to earth. No one is talking about a pilot episode, either, so there's an assumption going round that this one could be going straight to series. If we get proven wrong, we'll relegate this one to our 'active development' section.
We’d expect Gotham-like ‘nothing can really get fixed’ plotting and fancy space politics akin to Man Of Steel’s opening act. David S Goyer will write and produce, hopefully using his experience in such epic world-builders as Batman Begins, not disappointments like Ghost Rider: Spirit Of Vengeance.
The financial bosses at Syfy (which will house the show) will be glad to have heard that there won’t be many super-powers on display here – don’t forget that Superman gets his power from the radiation of Earth's sun.
The Fifth Beatle
Vivek J. Tiwary’s best-selling graphic novel The Fifth Beatle: The Story Of Brian Epstein is heading to the small screen. Sonar Entertainment has picked up the rights, and hired Tiwary to adapt his own work into a multi-part TV event series. At the moment, a network to house the series has not been announced.
According to Deadline, the series will document “The untold true story of the legendary Beatles manager and his effort to drive the unknown band from playing in a Liverpool cellar to international superstardom. Epstein overcame great obstacles, both personally and professionally, being a gay man in a time and place where homosexual acts were a felony.”
Many will be glad to hear that Jeff Lemire's critically acclaimed Essex County series has joined this lengthy list of comic book properties that have been optioned for TV adaptation. First Generation Films are producing a televised take for the Canadian Broadcast Company.
If you're unfamiliar Essex County comprises of three graphic novels - Tales From The Farm, Ghost Stories and The Country Nurse - which examine life and death in a small-town Ontario community.
Degrassi: The Next Generation's Aaron Martin is working on the pilot episode script as we speak (probably).
Hawaiian Dick is an Image Comics series by writer B. Clay Moore and artist Steven Griffin. NBC is currently developing a televised version, with Jackass star Johnny Knoxville attached to the project.
The comic is all about Detective Byrd, an alcoholic investigator who is exiled to Hawaii when things go south back home. In Hawaii, he enjoys drinking a lot and solving crimes (often supernatural ones).
NBC’s take is described as a "one-hour comedic action series that will mix procedural, humour and supernatural elements." Back in 2004, New Line Cinema had been considering a movie version, which came to nothing.
Unfollow – a Vertigo Comics series by Rob Williams and Michael Dowling – is the latest comic book project to end up with a TV deal at ABC Studios (the Disney-owned company that houses Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Agent Carter, and helped produce Jessica Jones and Daredevil for Netflix).
The comic focuses on a random group of 140 people who were selected by a social media magnate to potentially inherit his wealth upon the event of his death. He forces them to compete for the cash via a new app. Whoever survives the process takes the money. It’s essentially Battle Royale meets The Social Network meets Charlie And The Chocolate Factory.
The Originals showrunner Michael Narducci is writing and executive producing the series. At the moment, it’s at the scripting stage.
Tim Daniel and Mehdi Cheggour's Enormous was born as a one-off graphic novella in 2012. Since then it has spawned a short film (see here) and an ongoing comic series. Now, a telly version is on the way too.
Fox 21 Television Studios are working on an 'event series,' based on the comic, with the short film's producer Adrian Askarieh attached as an executive producer. There's no whiff of casting or airdate yet, but we'll be sure to let you know.
The synopsis tells us that "a vast ecological cataclysm which spawns colossal beasts unlike anything ever witnessed,” essentially meaning that there are kaiju sized monsters terrorising America. “Humankind stares down imminent extinction and the only law is to hunt or be hunted," we've heard.
“Humankind stares down imminent extinction and the only law is to hunt or be hunted. It’s survival of the biggest as the earth-shaking sci-fi action adventure continues,” we’re told. The protagonist will be Ellen Grace (as yet uncast), fighting for survival in “the only remaining North American Search & Recovery Team.”
Empire Of The Dead
Fancy some more zombie TV, based on a comic? You're in luck, then - Empire Of The Dead is on its way to the small screen. The comic was written by horror icon George A. Romero, and was published by Marvel last year. It's all about a quarantined Manhattan which soon gets infested by zombies and vampires.
The TV version will be written by Mr Romero, we're led to believe. He will be helped by Peter Grunwald and Sam Englebardt, who have both been involved with Romero's most recent '[Something] Of The Dead' movies.
The show will be supported by Demarest Films (Tusk, A Most Wanted Man). As far as we know, though, there's no network attached just yet.
Here's an interesting one - Matt Fraction and Kelly Sue DeConnick (a much-praised comic book writing duo) have signed a deal with Universal to help produce some new comic book TV shows for two years. First on their slate is Mr Fraction's Sex Criminals, a collaboration with Chip Zdarsky, which was published by Image Comics.
We've described the comic as 'a raunchy Bernard's Watch' before, and we stick by that somewhat unsettling description: Sex Criminals is about a pair of people who both have the ability to hault time when they orgasm. Upon meeting and having sex together for the first time, they realise they're not alone. Before long, they end up using this ability to rob banks. This gets them in lots of trouble with a strange police force. Mystery and hilarity ensues.
Alongside Universal, Fraction and DeConnick's company Milkfed Criminal Masterminds are involved. We don't know yet which network it will end up on, but Universal's close ties to NBC should be a pretty sizeable clue. We await info about castings, shooting schedules and airdates.
The Wicked + The Divine
As with Sex Criminals, The Wicked + The Divine TV show has come about thanks to Matt Fraction and Kelly Sue DeConnick's deal to produce comic book telly adaptations for Universal, involving their Milkfed Criminal Masterminds company.
The Wicked + The Divine comic is another oft-praised run, also heralding from Image Comics. This one was created by Jamie McKelvie, Kieron Gillan and Matt Wilson. It's all about a group of people called The Pantheon. They gain amazing powers by merging with deities, but cut their life expectancy to just two years as part of the deal.
Casting news and a timeframe would be nice, but at the moment we only know that the show is in production. We'll let you know when we hear more.
The Infinite Horizon
The Infinite Horizon is another non-superhero comic that is set to receive the small screen treatment. This one is being produced by Arrow, The Flash and Legends Of Tomorrow's Greg Berlanti, but is a little different to his usual projects.
The Infinite Horizon comic is by Gerry Duggan and Phil Noto - via Image Comics - and is all about the enigmatic Soldier With No Name's quest to return home. Set in the near future, his journey is ambushed by shipwrecks, fights and a desire to disappear into obscurity. Homer's Odyssey was an inspiration.
Ryan Condal, who wrote 2014's Hercules film, will pen the script. There's no word on casting or timelines, yet.
Jim Starlin is a bit of a legend in the comics world, having played a key role in developing the Guardians Of The Galaxy mythos (particularly Thanos, Gamora and Drax) and Captain Marvel, all of which are now part of Marvel Studios' massive filmic slate.
While these characters were the result of lengthy collaborations, though, Vanth Dreadstar is Starlin's personal invention who he admits "to be an extension of [his] family." We'd imagine he has some fairly out-there family dinners then, considering that Mr Dreadstar is a sword-wielding immortal with super strength whose forays in space opera often involve a cyborg sorcerer called Syzygy Darklock and an ancient war between two sprawling evil empires (one church-themed and the other royalty-based).
Dreadstar exists outside of the main Marvel universe, thanks to the rights of the property being owned by Marvel's creator-focused imprint Epic Comics. Working with Universal Cable Productions and Benderspink [the production company behind The Butterfly Effect, We’re The Millers, The Ring and many more], Jim Starlin will serve as a writer and executive producer for a new show based on Dreadstar. We don't know much else yet, but expect to hear more soon.
Snowpiercer - the 2014 comic book book movie that starred Chris Evans, Tilda Swinton, Ed Harris and John Hurt - is being adapted into a TV series by the folks at Tomorrow Studios (an American offshoot of ITV). It's all about a war between the upper and lower classes of society, set aboard a train in a gritty version of the future.
Rather than adapting the original source material (Jacques Lob and Jean-Marc Rochette’s graphic novel Le Transperceneige) it sounds like the film itself will be the main inspiration for the show.
“I’m a huge fan of director Bong [Joon-ho]’s films, especially Snowpiercer," said writer Josh Friedman (Spielberg's War Of The Worlds, The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Avatar 2 and 3), who is currently penning the script for the TV adaptation. We'll keep you updated as we hear more.
Hack/Slash is an Image Comics series by Tim Seeley and Stefano Caselli. Relativity Television has picked up the TV rights, and put a TV adaptation into development (Relativity's movie branch was previously working on a movie version).
The comic is all about Cassie Hack, a woman who survived a horror movie-like scenario. She devotes her life to hunting down killers as a result. Horror movie icons like Michael Myers, Jason Voorhees and Freddy Krueger have popped up in the comics.
Skip Woods – writer of X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Hitman: Agent 47, The A-Team movie and A Good Day To Die Hard – is on board to pen a script for the TV adaption. We don’t know much more at this stage.
An X-Men show that is being co-produced by Fox and Marvel as part of a ground-breaking new deal. Set in the last 60s, this one will focus on the villainous Hellfire Club last seen in X-Men: First Class. We'd expect a different line-up of characters and actors, though.
Hellfire will focus on 'a young Special Agent who learns that a power-hungry woman with extraordinary abilities is working with a clandestine society of millionaires – known as The Hellfire Club – to take over the world.'
Fox will be the home network, and a pilot is currently in development. Hellfire is currently looking for a new showrunner, as Evan Katz and Manny Coto have left to work on 24: Legacy instead.
The second TV show to sprout from Marvel and Fox's new deal - Legion is all about David Haller, a mutant whose powers consist of multiple personalities battling to come to the fore. As a teenager, he was wrongly diagnosed with schizophrenia.
Dan Stevens of The Guest is set to play David (with supporting turns from Aubrey Plaza, Jean Smart and Rachel Keller) in pilot episode that Fargo's Noah Hawley is writing. Nick Grad (Original Programming big chief at FX, the network that will host Legion) said this:
“[Noah Hawley's] adaption of Fargo for television was one of the most acclaimed television events in recent memory. It’s also an honour to partner with Marvel on Legion and to enlist such an accomplished team of executive producers to create this pilot.”
Producer Simon Kinberg is so excited about Legion that he's already dubbed it 'the Breaking Bad of superhero stories'.
Y: The Last Man
It was long touted for the big screen treatment, but now the rights to Y: The Last Man have reverted to the comic book's creators, Brian K. Vaughan and artist Pia Guerra. Instead of pushing for another attempt at a film, Mr Vaughan is said to be working on a TV version for Fox-owned network FX.
He's enlisted the help of Nina Jacobson, Brad Simpson and their production company Color Force (known for working on The Hunger Games and Diary Of A Wimpy Kid franchises). They're on the look-out for a director and another writer to help with the project.
Y: The Last Man is all about Yorick Brown, the last human male left alive after a plague sees off every mammal with a Y chromosome. His male monkey, Ampersand, also somehow survived. With the assistance of a badass secret agent by the name of Agent 335 and a scientist called Dr Mann, they set off on a globetrotting adventure to try and save mankind.
Marvel's Most Wanted
Rumours circulated for several months about an Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. spin-off focusing on characters Lance Hunter (Nick Blood) and Bobbi Morse (Adrianne Palicki). Eventually the rumours became truth - a pilot episode is in development for a show called Marvel's Most Wanted containing those very characters.
Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. alumni Jeffrey Bell and Paul Zbyszewski co-created the project and are co-writing the pilot for Marvel and ABC. Jeph Loeb - Marvel's TV head honcho - will produce alongside them.
At the moment, we don't know much more about this one, other than the fact that Delroy Lindo has signed up for a supporting role. He'll play Dominic Fortune, “a rogue, adventurer and handgun aficionado in the 1930s, [who] craved wealth and excitement with his globe-trotting odysseys.”
Red - as you may well know already - is a short comic book series published by WildStorm Comics. It was written by the mighty Warren Ellis and drawn by Mr Cully Hamner. Considering that it only ran for three issues (and some subsequent prequels, made a while later), it's fairly impressive that the property has already spawned two films, starring the likes of Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich and Helen Mirren.
Now, a TV show is being planned, either as-well-as or instead-of a filmic Red 3 (it's unclear which at the moment, but we'd bet on the former being more likely). The show will feature the premise of both the films and the comics - Retired Extremely Dangerous CIA operatives being hunted down, and then kicking ass to save their own lives.
Deadline broke the news, and summarised the show like this: "the TV series version will retain the core concept of the films but will be set in a more grounded and authentic world, focusing on the characters' darkly hilarious struggles to survive civilian life as they simultaneously fight for and against the very organization that threw them out."
Here's a BOOM! Studios comic that has been picked up for a television adaptation by 20th Century Fox. The comic is about a foster family who are trained up by the American authorities, becoming a team of government-sanctioned ass-kickers in the process. When they're not taking down bad guys, they're normally bickering among themselves.
Amanda Segel - who has written and produced for Person of Interest, Nikita and Without A Trace over the last few years years - will write the TV version. It's unclear whether actor Peter Facinelli - who co-created the comic - will take a role, but it's surely within the realms of possibility. Not much more is known at this stage, but we'll keep you posted as updates come in.
Harrow County is one of Universal Cable Production’s manifold upcoming Dark Horse Comics adaptations. It’s based on a new comic book written by Cullen Bunn (The Damned, The Sixth Gun) and illustrated by Tyler Crook (Bad Blood).
The official synopsis tells us that the protagonist Emmy “has always known that the deep, dark woods surrounding her home crawled with ghosts, goblins, and the restless dead.”
“On the eve of her 18th birthday,” we’re told, “she learns that she is connected to these creatures and to the land itself in a way she never imagined, for she is the reincarnation of a powerful witch who was put to death on the very day Emmy was born. For this reason, the townsfolk mean to kill her too.”
There’s no word yet on who’ll be cast in this one, or when it’ll be out. We know it's being developed for Syfy, though.
The Umbrella Academy
Created by Gerard Way (lead singer of My Chemical Romance, and writer of The True Lies Of The Fabulous Killjoys) and Gabriel Ba (Daytripper), The Umbrella Academy is another Dark Horse Comics property that Universal are developing for the small screen.
The synopsis looks like this: "Nine years after parting ways, the estranged members of the Umbrella Academy, a dysfunctional family of superheroes with bizarre powers, must figure out how to work together to save the world.”
Bluegrass films is also attached to executive produce, but we don’t know much more at this stage.
This one is another collaboration between Dark Horse Comics and Universal Cable Productions. So far, Dark Horse haven’t released a single comic under the title Back Up. We’re assuming, then, that the books may be sold concurrently with the TV episodes’ airings.
The synopsis tells us that Back Up will be set "in the near future, [where] a new technology allows people to be backed up the same way we now back up our computers - but instead of protecting against drive failure, these backups protect against death.”
Tom Vaughn wrote Back Up as a feature script, and at this stage the exact format of the show is unknonwn. Kenny Golde is set to write and executive produce, and Brad Anderson (Zoo, Almost Human) is in negotiations to direct. Jim Wedaa is also attached to executive produce.
Concrete is another project born from the alliance between Dark Horse Comics and Universal Cable Productions. It also might just be the weirdest idea on this list.
If you’re unfamiliar with the comic, here’s the official synopsis: "After his subconscious is transplanted into a hulking stone body, Ronald Lithgow must come to terms with his new form and try to live a normal life. This Eisner award-winning title is the opus of comics legend Paul Chadwick."
There’s not much to report on Concrete just yet. We don’t even know if it’s an animated or live action project. We’ll keep you updated, though.
Yet another Universal Cable Productions project here. The studio will bring popular 1970s Mexican comic book El Pantera to the telly realm with help from The Walking Dead producer Gale Ann Hurd and comics icon Warren Ellis.
The Hollywood Reporter describes the show as a “a vigilante crime drama set in a fictional metropolis on the U.S.-Mexico border.” We assume this new version has nothing to do with the 2007 adaptation released by Mexican network Canal 5.
At this stage, we don’t know much more, but the original comics might be a canny place to look for clues. Pantera means Panther, by the by.
IDW Publishing’s comic Kill Shakespeare has also been optioned for the television treatment by Universal Cable Productions. The comic has been adapted before, into a board game.
The comic pits The Bard’s “greatest heroes (Hamlet, Juliet, Othello, Falstaff) against his most menacing villains (Richard III, Lady Macbeth, Iago) in an adventure to find and kill — or save — a reclusive wizard named William Shakespeare.”
We don’t know yet who is showrunning or starring, but we’ll keep you updated.
RASL is a science fiction noir graphic novel from Jeff Smith, the cartoonist famed for creating the popular Bone property. Universal TV is buying up the rights to his RASL comic, according to CBR, with a view developing a TV series.
The RASL graphic novel was published by Cartoon Books in 2013. It’s all about Dr Robert Joseph Johnson, an art thief who jumps to parallel universes and steals famous paintings. Trouble with the government follows, and real life people (e.g. Nikola Tesla) make appearances.
Although Wigram Productions bought the rights four years ago, it’s believed that Walter Parkers and Laurie MacDonald of Universal will produce the project, and are currently closing a deal to do so. Not much else is known at this stage.
You might remember the name Static Shock, it was already adapted into a DC kids’ animated show which played on Cartoon Network and later Disney XD, ending production in 2010. Virgil Ovid Hawkins, AKA Static, was the main character - a high school student gifted with the power to control electromagnetism.
Rumours of a live-action version circulated a while ago, with it seeming likely that Blue Ribbon Content (a digital arm of Warner Bros.) would find a home for some short episodes online. The rumours reignited recently, but we've still heard nothing official enough to bump the show up to our 'confirmed' section.
Jaden Smith has been linked with the title role several times, and it’s worth remembering that his Fresh Prince of a dad has also signed up for Suicide Squad on the big screen – could getting his wee lad a job have been a deal sweetener? If this ever comes to fruition, we really hope the whole Smith family goes dressed as their DC characters next Halloween (let's not forget that Jada Pinkett Smith played Fish Mooney in Gotham, too).
Now that we’re onto the shows that have been talked about, but hardly confirmed, it’s also time to dust off the rumours of Young Justice - a live action rendering of the Cartoon Network show.
The rumours began about a year ago, when quotes surfaced claiming that The CW was working on a “live action teen drama/romance… with a superhero twist.” Of course, if it’s The CW we’re talking about, we could see Arsenal, Speedy, and any other youngsters from the Arrow/The Flash universe teaming up and fighting crime.
However, what isn’t clear is whether this is a different project, or linked perhaps, to…
Now this title got a bit more traction in the press, despite sounding similar on-paper to Young Justice, which had been floating around a while longer. Indeed, this is another live action youngster-team-up series that is potentially on the cards.
Nightwing is a central character here – that being the crime-fighting alias of former Boy Wonder Dick Grayson, last seen on the big screen in Batman And Robin or, if you can overlook a name-change, The Dark Knight Rises.
TNT was the original home for this show, but they recently departed from the project and leaned their focus more towards horror output. It remains to be seen whether a different network will pick it up.
Another from DC’s riskier Vertigo imprint, here. DMZ is a very political comic, imagining a second American Civil War in the near future. In this world, Manhattan becomes demilitarised and serves as the central setting.
Here, a young photo journalist called Matty gets ambushed by militia and soon becomes a celebrity due to his position as the only member of the media inside the city.
Andre and Maria Jacquemetton of Mad Men are said to be bringing the comic to the small screen with the aid of Harry Potter producer David Heyman. It’s all gone a bit quiet of late, but we’re hoping this one hasn’t fallen by the wayside.
An outside choice in the comic book telly word, WGN America has picked up the rights to Scalped, another from DC’s Vertigo imprint. It's believed that they're looking to cast Native American acting talent.
After all, the comics are a crime noir based on a Native American reservation. It was inspired in part by activist Leonard Peltier, and features organised crime, poverty and addiction.
The comic, written by Jason Aaron and illustrated by R.M. Guera, is widely considered a classic, and ran for nearly 60 issues. An announcement told us that Doug Jung of Banshee will adapt it for the small screen.
And finally, Global Frequency was picked up by Fox in November 2014. They’re making a pilot with the hope of impressing the powers-that-be enough to get a full season off the ground.
The premise here is a privately-funded crime-fighting syndicate (the eponymous Global Frequency) who have agents in many nations of the earth. Warren Ellis, who wrote the comic, is among the producers, as is blockbuster veteran Jerry Bruckheimer.
The last we heard was the aforementioned pilot order, which isn’t the first that has been made around this property. Another, in 2005, wasn’t successful in getting the green light. It did find its way online though, we’re told.
We'll keep this article updated as more news comes in. In the meantime, we'll be trying to build a time sphere (a la The Flash)... it might be the only way to keep up with all these shows.
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