Showtime is going to be expanding its eclectic blend of character-driven original programming by adapting Oni Press' graphic novel The Damned into a TV series.
The Damned will add a cursed soul angling his way through the demonic underworld to a network roster that has included a drug-dealing housewife (Weeds), a cop who moonlights as a serial-killer (Dexter), a hotshot writer with sex addiction (Californication), a mom with multiple personalities (The United States of Tara), a drug-addicted nurse (Nurse Jackie), an idiosyncratic cancer patient (The Big C), and one wild king of England (The Tudors). Sounds about right.
The Damned is a limited series put out by Indy publisher Oni Press, written by Cullen Bunn and illustrated by Brian Hurtt. The plot of the comic book series involved a guy named Eddie who is stricken by a demonic curse wherein he always comes back from the dead by transferring his fatal injuries to the first person who touches his corpse. The comic series is set during Prohibition era and the story involves Eddie being hired to find out what happened to the arbiter who was trying to maintain peace between warring factions of demon crime gangs.
According to Deadline, that comic book plot is being updated for the Showtime series. Eddie will now be living in modern day Chicago (still stricken by some sort of curse) and the demons will now be Chicago mobsters. Handling this new interpretation of the source material will be none other than David Hayter, writer of X2 and Watchmen, as well as the iconic voice of Solid Snake in the Metal Gear Solid video game series. Oni Press will also be involved in the show, under the banner of its sister company, Closed On Mondays Entertainment.
If there is one thing to be said about Showtime, it's that they know how to inject distinct personality into these character-driven shows they've put out. The series are rarely (if ever) generic, and manage to shatter most genre conventions. Then again, Showtime shows have (for the most part) stuck to real-world concepts and characters, so it'll be interesting to see if this supernatural material melds well with the network's quirky identity, or if The Damned will simply come off as an attempt to copy AMC's success with The Walking Dead - another independent comic book adaptation with supernatural themes.
We'll keep you posted about The Damned's development, including casting announcements.