With Netflix original series Orange is the New Black and House of Cards proving to be hits with audiences, the strength of digital distributors as a platform for TV shows is continuing to grow. Community will finally make it to a sixth season (though not a movie… yet) thanks to its acquisition by Yahoo, Amazon Studios has produced a number of original TV pilots for Amazon Instant Video, and Sony Pictures Television is getting ready to produce its first original series for release on the PlayStation Network – an adaptation of Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming’s comic book series Powers.
This isn’t the first time that Powers has been planned for the small screen; a series based on the comic books was in development at FX for years and even got a pilot episode starring Jason Patric, but it never received a full series order. The comic book is a police procedural following two homicide detectives – Christian Walker and Deena Pilgrim – who specialize in cases involving humans with superpowers.
According to Deadline, SPT has now the main cast for Powers assembled, with Sharlto Copley (District 9) set to play Christian Walker and Susan Heyward (The Following) partnering up with him as Deena Pilgrim. Eddie Izzard (Hannibal) will also star in the series as Wolfe, a villainous “Power” who was formerly a mentor to Christian before he ended up in jail. Christian himself used to be a Power, but joined the police force after losing his special abilities.
The 10-episode first season of Powers will also star Michelle Forbes (True Blood) as Retro Girl, “an icon of justice, selflessness, and business acumen.” Noah Taylor (Game of Thrones) will take on another bad guy role as Johnny Royalle, a “criminal mastermind Power with the ability to pop in and out of locations at will.” Finally, Olesya Rulin (High School Musical) will play Calista, “a teenage Power wannabe with street smarts, attitude and vulnerability who is always seeking out her next move.”
Copley is currently filming John Krasinski’s upcoming movie The Hollars and there’s no word yet as to when production will begin on Powers; with this many cast members in place, filming could easily begin within the next few months. Bendis and Oeming are both attached to the series as producers, and the show will be written by novelist Charlie Huston.
Powers is part of Sony’s effort to promote the company’s newest console, the PlayStation 4, through the appeal of exclusive content. Similarly, Microsoft is also racing to produce exclusive TV content for the Xbox One, with a Halo TV series executive produced by Steven Spielberg currently targeting a fall 2015 release. Let us know in the comments which of these projects you think has the most potential.
We’ll keep you updated on Powers as development continues.