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After The Boys And Invincible Success, Amazon Is Moving Forward With Another Wildly Ambitious Comic Book Adaptation

With Marvel and DC having served for years as huge banks of traditional superhero source material, film and TV audiences have eagerly welcomed comic book adaptations that don’t necessarily hinge on truth, justice, and the American way. In particular, Amazon Studios has enjoyed the successes of expectation-twisting fare like The Boys and Invincible, but it will be largely leaving superheroes by the wayside with its highly ambitious new comic-geared plans. 

Amazon Studios acquired the development rights to the still-new (but already bestselling) Image Comics series Eight Billion Genies, which was created by the hitmaking team of writer Charles Soule and artist Ryan Browne. The book’s premise is one that could feasibly spark billions of stories, in a quite literal sense, and it appears as if the vast storytelling potential is precisely why the powers that be were intent on taking control of Eight Billion Genies through what was reported to be a “heated auction,” per Image.

The general premise of Eight Billion Genies is that on one seemingly normal day, every single person on earth met their own personal genie, with the caveat that each genie would grant one wish, and one wish only. And it takes roughly eight seconds for the world to change forever, which is where this narrative kicks off. The comic arc itself, which is currently two issues in, is set within a Michigan bar called The Lampwick, and centers on the barkeep and the new and old clientele that were present when the genies arrived. And while that specific story will likely make its way to viewers in some capacity, it certainly won’t be the only one. 

Issue #1 Cover of Eight Billion Genies

(Image credit: Image Comics)

Because if it wasn’t clear already, Amazon isn’t just planning on spinning a single project out of Eight Billion Genies, but rather a variety of them. The first project that the studio is planning will be a feature film that is meant to serve as the “cornerstone in a cross-media Universe of storytelling.” Expect at least one TV series and even more following up the (first?) feature, with Charles Soule and Ryan Browne serving as executive producers. 

This all seems like a huge leap for Amazon Studios, whose upcoming Prime Video exclusive The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power is already proof of the company’s willingness to go big on projects that appeal to those in charge. And while Soule and Browne aren’t exactly J.R.R. Tolkien, their talents combined with the streamer’s success with comic book fare make it a calculated risk to go so hard on development for a new title like Eight Billion Genies

Plus, again, the concept fucking rocks, and free-flowing wishes would allow for so many different kinds of plots and story avenues. The Boys and its envelope-pushing satire is spinning things off already with a new show in the works, while AMC may never stop finding ways to deliver The Walking Dead offshoots like Isle of the Dead beyond its final season. But those and other shows are obviously tied to vaguely limiting central hooks like superheroes, zombies, etc. Eight Billion Genies could feasibly deliver a 6-episode limited series about a boy who wishes the world was made out of candy and boobs, and then a movie about an Asian grandmother who wishes she was young again, and then a podcast about a blind scientist who wishes to hear other people’s thoughts. The sky’s the limit, unless it’s wished away. 

Charles Soule and Ryan Browne’s previous collaboration, the ass-kicking series Curse Words, is also in the process of being developed into a TV series, and it’ll likely also be unlike anything else on the small screen when it comes around. Soule’s twisty sci-fi series Letter 44 and the doomed-future series Undiscovered Country, as well as his novels The Oracle Year and Anyone, are all being developed as films and TV shows as well. Which is likely part of why Eight Billion Genies had so many bidders, since Soule is about to hit Robert Kirkman levels of viewer recognition, even beyond his core comic fanbase.

No telling at this point when Amazon Prime subscribers will be able to watch Eight Billion Genies, since it’s still unclear who will be writing and directing the franchise-initiating feature. In the meantime, all three seasons of The Boys (opens in new tab) are available to stream, as is the first season of Invincible, with more on the way from both shows. 

Nick Venable
Nick Venable

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.