MTV has a reboot of Aeon Flux in the works; the beloved ‘90s animated series will see new life as a live-action TV show from Teen Wolf showrunner Jeff Davis.
The original Aeon Flux aired on MTV, premiering on the network’s avant-garde animation program, Liquid Television, in 1991. This eventually led to a series of its own, as well as a video game, comics and a feature film. The cartoon was created by Peter Chung, who had previously worked on Rugrats. Set in a dystopian future, the plot revolved around a leather-clad assassin fighting to keep humanity safe from Trevor Goodchild - who she also sometimes made out with. Although a cartoon, this program was definitely aimed at adults. Aeon Flux had striking animation, morally ambiguous characters, graphic violence and an amazing score. The early shorts had no dialogue and the titular heroine always met a tragic end.
According to THR, the series will be penned by Davis, and executive produced alongside Gale Anne Hurd, who is a producer on The Walking Dead. Hurd also worked on the 2005 film adaptation of Aeon Flux, which starred Charlize Theron. Sadly, the film was a huge disappointment, both critically and commercially. Chung has referred to it as “a travesty.” This wasn’t the fault of director Karyn Kusama or screenwriters Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi. It would seem that Kusama’s original vision hoped to be just as strange and wonderful as the source material. However, the studio head changed during the movie’s production and the new boss removed Kasuma from the project, instead replacing her with a team of editors intent on transforming Aeon Flux into a more typical Hollywood blockbuster. The resulting film was a flop that failed to even keep the cartoon’s essence intact.
While the movie could certainly only be described as very loosely based on Chung’s work, his bold visuals are fairly impossible to replicate in a live-action format. That being said, as much as many fans would love an animated reboot, whoever was responsible for the animation would have some pretty big shoes to fill. Chung’s style is what made Aeon Flux a work of art. So, while live-action might not appear to be the best venue for the show’s return, trying to imagine the characters animated by anyone else doesn’t sound like a workable solution either.
Luckily, Davis knows a thing or two about reboots. His iteration of Teen Wolf is basically unrecognizable from the '80s film of the same name. The show lasted for six seasons, becoming MTV’s first true hit in terms of scripted shows. Hurd also knows quite a bit about adapting successful properties. Robert Kirkman and Tony Moore began The Walking Dead back in 2003, with Charlie Adlard taking over artist duties from issue #7 on. Although the book was undeniably successful, the TV series turned it into a cultural phenomenon beyond anything its creators could’ve possibly imagined. TWD will even continue on without its main character. Only time will tell if Hurd and Davis will be able to give Aeon Flux the live-action treatment it deserves, but fans are certainly hoping so.