More comic book TV show adaptations seem to be popping up on TV channels and networks with every new quarter – and given the recent string of success stories, it’s not hard to see why. Marvel Studios is also about to break new ground on Netflix with Daredevil (the first of four original series, plus a mini-series) being set to premiere in just a few weeks. Not to mention, the other comic book shows that are currently in development – like TNT’s Titans, AMC’s Preacher, CBS’ Supergirl, SyFy’s Krypton, and more.
However, as more of the most recognizable comic properties are snatched up by different networks, studios are beginning to look for source material from less mainstream comic book outlets (like Vertigo and Image Comics). The way things are going, audiences can expect to see more obscure comic book titles being adapted to the small screen in the coming years.
Case in point: THR has revealed that (after a long bidding war) Legendary TV and producer Matt Tolmach (The Amazing Spider-Man) have begun development on a TV show based on the popular Lazarus comic book series by Greg Rucka and Michael Lark from Image Comics. Rucka will pen the pilot episode and serve as an executive producer on the series, while collaborating with David Manpearl (of Matt Tolmach Productions).
Lazarus (first released in October 2013) is set in a dystopian world where 16 wealthy families rule over all of society. Each of the 16 families has a Lazarus – an unkillable, genetically engineered, protector of the family. The series follows one of these protectors, Forever Carlyle, as she uses methods of force, secrets, and deception to keep her family and their goals safe. The series, like most dystopian literature, contains social commentary on the class system (as well as universal human emotions).
Tolmach has less street cred among the nerd community after his work on the previously mentioned Amazing Spider-Man franchise. Hopefully though, Lazarus will be a redeeming adaptation for the long-time producer and will put him back in the good graces with comic book fans. The Legendary TV partnership should give hope to fans – what with the studio also currently developing a TV show from Guillermo del Toro called Carnival Row (as well as the Netflix series, Love, from Judd Apatow, Paul Rudd, and Lesley Arfin).
Lazarus could end up being one of the more enjoyable (and unique) additions to the futuristic dystopian genre – a genre that’s very much the craze right now. Indeed, judging by how another Image Comics adaptation, The Walking Dead, has fared on the small screen so far, this has the potential to be a big hit among audiences. It will all depend on how the series is written; the cast the show-runners assemble; and, of course, what network the show lands on.
Lazarus is currently in development with Legendary TV and Matt Tolmach.