Wondering what The CW is going to do once its Man of Steel finally finds his way out of Smallville? Us too. But according to Variety, fellow DC superhero Raven is next on tap for a TV series adaptation.
The network has asked Diego Gutierrez (co-executive producer of V) to write and exec produce. He’s previously worked on Without a Trace, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. At this point only a script has been ordered, so a fully-developed project is tentative at best and at least a year out.
For the uninitiated, the comic version of Raven is the daughter of a human mother and the extra-dimensional demon Trigon (who bears a strong resemblance to pagan representations of the Judeo-Christian Satan). She’s been an on-again, off-again, member of the Teen Titans and other DC superhero teams, and on a few occasions adopted the alter-ego of Rachel Roth. Her powers are typical dark witch/sorceress fare, including teleportation, control of shadows, empathic abilities, and a depth of arcane knowledge. In addition to regular appearances in comics as far back as 1980, Raven was one of five regulars in the now-concluded Teen Titans cartoon series.
Raven’s dark, brooding backstory would seem to jive with later seasons of Smallville and other CW shows like Supernatural. Raven’s a half-demon who straddles the line between a hero and an antagonist in the DC universe – the character’s much more Hellboy than Sabrina the Teenage Witch. In addition, another comic adaptation would allow The CW to draw on some of the same characters and story arcs that have made appearances alongside the Superman regulars on Smallville for the last ten seasons.
This wouldn’t be The CW’s only foray into into live-action superheroics since Clark Kent’s adventures in Kansas. In 2002, the WB aired a half-season of Birds of Prey, focusing on satellite characters in the Batman universe and loosely based on the comic of the same name. Despite a marketing blitz and appeals to both male and female audiences, the series quickly dropped in the ratings and wasn’t renewed. A pilot for Aquaman was developed but that series didn’t pan out either. Later attempts at building shows around Robin and Wonder Woman met similar fates. But with the country’s new-found love for capes and cowls, a series based on a D-lister like Raven might satisfy superhero junkies while allowing writers the freedom to develop the character in new and interesting ways.
That said, those hoping for a straight-up adaptation of the comics are probably out of luck. Considering that The WB declined to adapt the Aquaman pilot into a full series and that Smallville writers have been relatively sparing of costumed antics, a Raven series would probably focus on drama a la The Vampire Diaries. CW executives may have chosen the more obscure character to emulate past success with female-dominated supernatural fare like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Charmed. Assigning Raven to Gutierrez, who has assistant credits under Joss Whedon for dozens of Buffy and Angel episodes, would seem to indicate this.
Some fans have wondered about a series based off of the Smallville version of Green Arrow, whose anti-hero antics might fit well with modern audiences. Justin Hartley’s portrayal of the character made an impact on viewers in Season 6 and he has been a steady recurring character on Smallville ever since. With the Supermax script featuring Green Arrow/Oliver Queen seemingly on ice, a TV show could have built up momentum for a big-screen debut.
Are you excited about a series adaptation of Raven? Would you rather see a series for Green Arrow, or another member of the Warner Brothers/DC lineup? How do you think Raven would fare against No Ordinary Family or NBC’s forthcoming The Cape? Let us know in the comments.
Source: Variety via io9
Raven/Teen Titans image by Dave Bullock