It's becoming increasingly fashionable in film and television now to turn to comic books when you want a new story but you don't want to fork out for a storyboard artist. Or an original idea. But at least it's good to see production companies delving into independent comics for their next movie or show, which is why, according to a report from Deadline, we can now look forward to Cullen Bunn and Brian Hurtt's crime horror series The Damned being made into a TV show, courtesy of Showtime. The comic had a limited run so this may well turn out to be a miniseries, unless Showtime can find a way to stretch out, alter or extend the story, but at least the set-up sounds promising.
David Hayter, co-writer of other comic book adaptations including X-Men, X2 and Watchmen, has been brought onboard to pen the scripts for the series.
The Damned was published by Oni Press and is set in prohibition-era Chicago when crime bosses were on the rise, and apparently so were demons. The main character – Eddie – has been brought back from the dead in order to solve the case of a missing bookkeeper. At the risk of being heartless, the curse is actually pretty cool: Eddie can't die, but if he is killed then whoever next touches his body gets transferred all of his terrible injuries and drops dead, whilst Eddie walks off alive and well. At least, as well as a man can be when caught up in a turf war between the demonic forces running Chicago.
Apparently Showtime are going to do away with the prohibition-era setting and stick it in modern-day Chicago, presumably because it's cheaper to just shoot on today's streets rather than build 1920s sets, which I think is a bit of a shame. But no matter, it seems that this is going to be Showtime's answer to AMC's The Walking Dead or The CW's Supernatural, and they could have done a lot worse for a story. Cullen Bunn is certainly excited about it, according to this statement on his website:
I've been sitting on this for some time, but now it's time to share some big news regarding my demon-meets-gangster graphic novel, The Damned!
Showtime has put a series into development based on the book. It will be written by feature writer David Hayter who has co-penned several big-screen comic book adaptations – X-Men, X2 and Watchmen. The show is being described as a modern adaptation of the comic. It will revolve around Eddie, a cursed man, who is stuck in the middle of a turf war in modern day Chicago where mobsters are demons. Eddie must play all the angles to keep the warring families at bay while trying to reclaim his soul.
I've been privy to some of what is planned for the series, and I gotta tell ya, it is gonna be awesome!
It must be nice for Cullen to see his work finally heading for an adaptation that's going to stick. The comic book series was snapped up for adaptation by Dreamworks almost immediately after it was published and they even had screenwriter David DiGilio onboard to write it, but everything went quiet and presumably the whole idea was dropped. No matter, perhaps the story will work better as a TV series anyway. Watch this space for more information.
Well, not this space. We'll publish separate articles.
Seriously, you can stop watching now, it's starting to get a little creepy.