After years in development hell, Scalped is finally beginning production on its pilot for WGN. Based on the Vertigo comic from Jason Aaron and R.M. Guéra, Scalped tells a story set to the backdrop of an American Indian reservation. In the comic, lead character Dashiell Bad Horse returns home after a decade and a half away to to help clean up the Rez along with the Tribal Police. It's a rare look at the life of America's modern Indigenous population in the world of comics, and will make for an even rarer TV show.
Back in 2014, WGN first announced plans to bring the comic to life. It wasn't until a year ago, however, that the Scalped pilot began moving forward with executive producers Geoff Johns and Doug Jung in tow. From there, it took until early this year for the directors to be announced, quickly followed by the casting of leads Bad Horse and Carol Red Crow. Now that the principal cast and crew have been assembled, the work of bringing the pilot to life has finally begun.
Aaron, also known for his work on Marvel's Thor and Doctor Strange comics, posted an image to his Twitter of the Scalped logo on a set of cast and crew chairs. With it, he signaled that production for the pilot is now underway:
Well today is kinda cool. pic.twitter.com/GnNk4d64UG
— Jason Aaron (@jasonaaron) April 17, 2017
As a creator, it's likely a surreal experience to see his work brought to life. There's no word on whether Aaron or Guéra will be involved in the project, but hopefully Johns will value their input seeing as he's a DC creative himself. Despite the long history of Native peoples in our country, they haven't always been reflected positively in media. Even then, they're often portrayed by non-Native actors. Luckily, the casting so far has favored actors of Native America descent. As such, it will join the unusual company of the Twilight films in terms of prominently featuring both Native characters and actors.
While plenty of mainstream comics from Marvel and DC have been brought to life on TV, Scalped will bear more in common with FOX's Lucifer (also a Vertigo comic), and AMC's The Walking Dead and Preacher (another Vertigo title). Like all three, it's a smaller comic with a strong fanbase that will follow its journey to new media - and similar to the latter two, it will feature a dark and somber tale full of colorful characters and corners of the US rarely explored. All told, Scalped looks to be an exciting direction for WGN and comic book TV shows.
Scalped currently has no official premiere date.
Source: Jason Aaron