The journey of getting Brian Michael Bendis’ series Powers to television has been a rough one. Last we heard (way back in June!), was that FX had ordered a few scripts for episodes from different writers, and that was it. Things have been eerily quiet about the project and many assumed it was over, but IGN caught up with the President of FX John Landgraf and asked him if the project was dead.
“No, still alive…After we made the pilot, we actually developed three more [episode] scripts. So then we had a pilot plus three scripts, and we decided between the pilot and the scripts that it wasn’t quite the series that we needed it to be. When I say we, by the way, Brian Bendis is involved in every phase of this conversation and discussion. But one of the scripts was written by this guy named Charlie Huston, and he was a novelist. Both I and Brian and others thought, ‘Wow, there is actually something in the tone of this.’”
What Landgraf fails to point out is that Charlie Huston is no stranger to writing superheroes, having written various issues of Moon Knight, The Punisher and The Ultimates 2. Landgraf explains that Huston was approached by Bendis to work on the project and accepted.
“Charlie went up to Seattle, and they sat down and they talked, and read through all the books, and they came back with a new vision, basically. Essentially, a new pilot to begin with, which is a new, different story than the pilot that we shot. So that pilot is officially gone and dead, and the actors are all gone, but we’re developing a whole new pilot from scratch.”
With the previous pilot being scrapped and a new one in the making, Landgraf doesn’t seem to have lowered his expectations for what the show should be.
“I feel like we have to bring something to the table that doesn’t exist. Television adaptations of graphic novels, for the most part, have been the pretty good food you’ll take when really good food isn’t available, you know what I mean? For me, I’m not going to take second fiddle to Marvel or anybody….And if we can get Powers to that level, I’ll make another pilot, and I’ll put it on the air. But I’m not going to put anything less than an absolutely great version of Powers on the air. That’s like remaking a great film into a good film, and I don’t want to do that.”
Powers follows two homocide detectives, Christian Walker and Deena Pilgrim, who work cases that involve people with superpowers with Walker having previously been one himself.