Despite rumors of its demise, it appears Brian Michael Bendis’ “Powers” TV show, based on his award winning comic book series, is still very much alive. Or at least that’s what FX President John Landgraf said when asked about the show at the recent Television Critics Association shindig.
When it comes to “Powers”, Landgraf still sounded very gung-ho about the project, telling IGN that the cable network isn’t just committed to the show, they’re still moving forward with it, even if that means starting all over from scratch:
We’ve been through so many incarnations. After we made the pilot, we actually developed three more [episode] scripts. So then we had a pilot plus three scripts, and we decided between the pilot and the scripts that it wasn’t quite the series that we needed it to be. When I say we, by the way, Brian Bendis is involved in every phase of this conversation and discussion. But one of the scripts was written by this guy named Charlie Huston, and he was a novelist. Both I and Brian and others thought, “Wow, there is actually something in the tone of this.” So Charlie was approached, I think by Brian, and said, “Look, would you be interested in taking on Powers?” And Charlie said, “Well, I’ve never actually adapted anything before in my life. I have only written novels and stuff of my own, but Powers is my favorite graphic novel, and yes!”
So what ended up happening was we reconstituted the whole thing around Charlie as the creator, with Brian. Charlie went up to Seattle, and they sat down and they talked, and read through all the books, and they came back with a new vision, basically. Essentially, a new pilot to begin with, which is a new, different story than the pilot that we shot. So that pilot is officially gone and dead, and the actors are all gone, but we’re developing a whole new pilot from scratch.
As you’ll recall, “Powers” actually shot a pilot, with Jason Patric and Lucy Punch in starring roles. There was even this shot of official image of Patric from the show:
But it looks like they’re back to the drawing board. I gotta say, the pilot must have really sucked if they were willing to dump it and start all over again. Pilots don’t come cheap, you know; especially TV show pilots about superpowered people.
Meanwhile, things are moving along swimmingly on Guillermo del Toro’s “The Strain” TV series, about a vampire invasion of New York City based on the three books by Del Toro and Chuck Hogan. Landgraf sounds very sure that the show will get a full season order on its way to a glorious 4-5 year run. I guess he would know. He does run the network, after all.
Landgraf says of the upcoming show:
I’m so excited about that. I read through all the books. I’ve sat and talked to him and Chuck Hogan, his collaborator on the books, and Carlton Cuse, who’s going to be his collaborator and showrunner, about everything that’s great about those books. Those books haunted my dreams. But we also talked about what needs to change and what needs to grow and what needs to adapt. I think they’re on a really exciting front. I’m going to see the outline for the pilot soon, and I’ll see the pilot script in a few months. We actually hired designers, so I’m actually going to start to see maquettes and design elements in a month. Guillermo’s basically scheduling his life around directing both the pilot and basically functioning as a showrunner. We’re going to shoot it in Canada for financial reasons, because it’s an epic, epic story. It’s really expensive. But also because that’s where he’s doing his movie, and he’s going to move his family up there. We’ve already started talking to graphic and design houses, not only the one Guillermo’s affiliated with here but the ones in Canada. So I would say there’s an extremely high probability that’s going to be a series, not a pilot, but ultimately a season. And I think based on the books it’s going to be either three, four or five years, because I think we’re going to tell the basic epic story of the books. I think there are some places we’re going to expand or elaborate, but ultimately I think the beginning of the story is the beginning of the series and the end of the books is the end of the series. A lot of the stuff that happens in the middle will be the same, but a lot will be different. And we think trying to stretch that out for six or seven years would just be bad.
Hey, when you can get the guy who runs the network to dream about your TV show and get “really excited” about it, I guess your chances of getting on the air are pretty good.