There are numerous gestating television series based on beloved comic book properties, including Guillermo del Toro’s The Incredible Hulk and Joss Whedon’s untitled show set in the Marvel universe. However, Fox is moving forward with an adaptation of the relatively obscure graphic novel titled Headache, as authored by Lisa Joy (a screenwriter/producer whose credits include the cult TV series Pushing Daisies and Burn Notice).
Headache tells the tale of a seemingly-ordinary 23-year old woman who discovers she is actually Athena, the Greek goddess of wisdom and warfare. Athena sets out to discover which of the gods is hell-bent on destroying humankind, leading her to encounter a variety of colorful, mythological, characters along the way.
Joy is scripting and executive producing the television series, which Deadline confirms has been renamed Athena. The tentative plan is for the show to take a “monster of the week” approach where the titular heroine battles a different Greek creature on a weekly basis – all the while further unraveling the central mystery that drives the over-arching storyline.
It’s an approach that recalls Whedon’s work on Buffy the Vampire Slayer in terms of style. The two series also bear many an encouraging surface similarity, including a sophisticated female protagonist, sly riffs on traditional representations of mythological figures (Zeus, for instance, is portrayed as Athena’s deadbeat father), and a tone that transitions easily from humorous one moment to dead serious the next – without seeming schizophrenic, that is.
Co-executive producing duties on Athena are being picked up by Peter Chernin and Katherine Pope, who previously collaborated on such television series as Terra Nova, New Girl, and Touch. Athena reads as an amalgamation of elements from those three shows, as it’s a coming-of-age story about a modern-day young woman that combines a mystery-driven narrative with fantasy concepts that call for relatively complex effects (by network TV standards).
Overall, it sounds as though Athena has the potential to be what NBC’s infamous Wonder Woman reboot should have been – a clever take on the idea of a super-powered gal attempting to balance her duties as a warrior-for-humanity with the demands of life in the 21st century. Color us interested, for sure.
We will keep you updated on Athena‘s progress as more details are announced.
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