Deadly Class: The ‘80s Setting Will Be A Love Letter To Generation X

Taylor Hickson Jack Gillett and Benjamin Wadsworth in Deadly Class SYFY

SYFY’s comic book adaptation of Deadly Class will bring the ‘80s to life in a gritty way that will also double as a love letter to Generation X. Period dramas on television are nothing new, and shows set during the ‘80s are everywhere these days — Stranger Things, Halt and Catch Fire, and The Americans being among some of the best — but this new series will aim to be a little more personal in its approach to the decade - at least as it pertains to how series creator and co-showrunner Rick Remender plans to depict that particular period of time. 

Remender is best known for his work in the world of comic books, having created a number of successful independent series, such as Fear Agent, Last Days of American Crime, and Black Science. The latter two have been optioned for film or television adaptations, which makes Deadly Class a bellwether of sorts in terms of the acclaimed writer’s shift to live-action. In many ways, the story of a secret school for assassins makes for an unlikely entree into the world of television, but given that it has Joe and Anthony Russo executive producing, it would seem there’s the right kind of interest in seeing this story brought to life. 

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In a recent visit to the set of Deadly Class, Screen Rant spoke with series co-showrunner Miles Orion Feldsott, who discussed the challenges in series’ period trappings and how it’s really a personal story for Remender, one that, like the comic itself, is a love letter to Gen Xers everywhere. Feldsott said: 

“One thing that Rick wanted was that we approach this era with the same kind of reverence that Mad Men did that time period. So in order to maintain that quality and make sure that all the costumes are right and all the cars are right and that we didn't mess up and use a reference or a slang word that wasn't until 1990, that's a very, very challenging task.   

The reason that it's in the '80s is that's really the time when Rick was going through this period of his life. He wrote the book as a love letter to Gen X and to all the kids that he knew and that he loved that he felt like didn't have their stories being told in mainstream media. So he wrote the book really for them. I believe the original title of the book was Reagan Youth, and then it morphed into a conglomeration of that book and this heightened Academy for Assassins.   

So for [Rick], it's deeply personal, and we hope it exposes the kids that are that age now to a version of the '80s that they might not be familiar with. They might be only used to the Steven Spielberg Amblin '80s, which we all love and we all know very well because those movies are all iconic. But this definitely has a much grittier, angrier tone to it because it's about the kids that those movies weren't about, frankly.”

With the series premiere having been released weeks early, viewers who have already tuned in know what Feldsott is talking about. The question now is: how many of them are actually part of Generation X?

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The Deadly Class series premiere is currently available online or on the SYFY app. The series officially premieres Wednesday, January 16, 2019 on SYFY.

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