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The superhero genre has only been increasing its prominence over the last several years, with numerous superhero titles hitting the silver screen during the spring and summer, often based on famous comics. It wasn’t so long ago when creating a film about extraordinary heroes was still a box office gamble. Back in 2003, 20th Century Fox put out The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, a movie based on a comic property that didn’t manage to make its budget back domestically. With the prowess of shows like Arrow and the hopes riding on ABC’s S.H.I.E.L.D., Fox is willing to give the property a second shot on the small screen.
On Tuesday, Variety learned that Fox is putting together a pilot for The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, based on the graphic novel series of the same name written by Alan Moore and illustrated by Kevin O’Neill. According to the outlet, Twentieth Century Fox TV is producing the project, which marks Fox’s first big drama sale of the season. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen will also be the network’s first attempt to redo a graphic novel series to suit the small screen.
If you are unfamiliar with the comics or the 2003 film, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen follows a set of characters from classic fiction who come together to form a league of extraordinary individuals all working for British Intelligence during the Victorian Era and beyond. The most frequent characters in the graphic novels are Mina Murray from Dracula and Allan Quatermain from King Solomon’s Mines. Other characters include Captain Nemo, The Invisible Man, and Dr. Jekyll.
In the film trailer, you can basically see who played who in the original movie, although we are unlikely to see the same actors this time (no doubt Shane West has some free time, though). While we don’t know who will sign on to the pilot just yet, we do know that Green Lantern writer Michael Green is signed on to pen the pilot. Green will also executive produce, alongside Erwin Stoff.
You would think that The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen would be a risky product considering its track record, but likely Fox will look to see how S.H.I.E.L.D. does before it moves forward with the pilot. Theoretically there should be enough fans of Victorian fictional characters as well as Alan Moore projects to warrant an audience, but the pilot will still have to do some work in order to overcome the movie that came before it. After all, 2003 wasn't so long ago. However, if people can totally put the Sam Raimi Spider-Man movies behind them in favor of the new flicks, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen stands a chance.