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Dare we all hope that Syfy is finally returning to its roots, if not its former moniker, with the recent onslaught of high-potential original programming? President Dave Howe is looking everywhere for source material, and three of the latest projects on the horizon all come from the comic book world. Frank Miller’s acclaimed samurai story Ronin, Jonathan Hickman’s time traveling war epic Pax Romana, and the space-based political thriller Letter 44 will all find a new home at Syfy, though not all in the same format.

Ronin fans should be glad to hear that Syfy is making a miniseries out of Miller’s early 1980s work, which told a tight story that need not be warped by anyone looking to stretch it out for one full season or more. The plot is centered on a masterless, dishonored Ronin who is given another chance to avenge his master’s death by being reborn in a nihilistic future New York City as a medical experiment named Billy. There, he meets his match in Agat, the reincarnation of his master’s killer, as they both try to gain control of a mystical sword. It’s high concept goodness that once had director Darren Aronofsky attached to turn it into a feature.


Syfy will also go the miniseries route with the four-issue Pax Romana, which is set in a future where religious animosity will soon bring about a third world war. While the press release leaves out all religious subtext, the main story sees Vatican-funded research leading to time travel, and a highly trained private army is sent back to ancient Rome, where they intend to change the past in order to save the future. But, alas, things go wrong. Hickman will serve as an executive producer, and the project will be written by Matthew Federman and Stephen Scaia, writers and producers of shows like Jericho and Syfy’s own Warehouse 13.

pax romana

Written by Charles Soule and illustrated by Alberto Alburquerque, Letter 44 is aiming towards becoming a full series, and Jonathan Mostow (Surrogates, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines) has been tapped to produce, write and direct the pilot. This multi-threaded plot begins as a new POTUS is sworn into office. Almost immediately, he is given the titular letter, passed on from the 43rd president, revealing a team of astronauts traveling near an asteroid belt have discovered evidence of an enormous alien construction project. The drama takes place both on the ground and in the spaceship, where emotions are always running high. (You can read the entire first issue on io9 here.)

letter 44

I like to think the law of averages says at least one of the three will be outstanding. Should everything go as planned, these series will be joining the 12 Monkeys adaptation, the biblical fantasy Dominion, the space opera Ascension (which recently cast Battlestar Galactica’s Tricia Helfer), and more. Which of these three are you guys most excited about?