As more and more DC Comics heroes are beginning their march to TV, the publisher has an ace up its sleeve: the extensive gallery of offbeat, otherworldly, or supernatural titles under its Vertigo banner. While The Sandman movie is still moving forward slowly, it looks like a supporting character from the comic – Lucifer – will be hitting the small screen first in a solo adventure, with Fox laying claim to the pilot episode.
The news comes from Deadline, who claim that the pilot is being handled by none other than Tom Kapinos – creator, executive producer, and writer of Showtime’s Californication. On that basis alone, this project sounds like one which holds plenty of promise. Since the character was depicted as something of an amoral figure in the original Vertigo comics, Kapinos – and his work leading David Duchovny’s womanizing alcoholic – seems a perfect fit.
For those only familiar with the Judeo-Christian version of Lucifer, Neil Gaiman took a slightly different approach when adding the supporting character in his “Sandman” graphic novel. Drawing heavily from John Milton’s “Paradise Lost”, Lucifer was depicted as something of a sympathetic character, damned to rule over hell for eternity as punishment for a single act of rebellion.
The fallen angel would eventually grow sick and tired of his duties, casting out the imprisoned souls and demons of Hell and resigning his authority to return to Earth. And given that he was initially modelled after rocker David Bowie, one can assume how quickly the masses welcomed him.
It’s assumed that a TV series would draw heavily from the spinoff “Lucifer” comic written by Mike Carey, and spawned due to the character’s popularity among Vertigo readers. That series brought a wandering Lucifer first to Australia, and later to Los Angeles, opening up a piano bar called “Lux” and mingling with the rest of the high-class Californian crowd.
At this point, Fox has committed to airing a planned pilot, so the finished product is still a long way off; with the amount of positive buzz already circling Gotham, it’s no surprise to see that the network is jumping at another – darker – comic property. We had argued that a series like Manhunter could fit the style and tone of Gotham, so the only question remaining is just how true the series can stay to the source material on network television.
More details or insights will no doubt be coming from both Fox and Kapinos if the reports are true. For now, does this seem like a title ripe for adaptation, with Vertigo titles like Constantine and The Sandman finally getting their time in the spotlight? Or would you have liked to see a different path taken with the likes of Lucifer? Sound off in the comments.
Follow me on Twitter @andrew_dyce for more Lucifer updates, as well as TV, movies, and gaming news.