Add up the current comic book TV shows with those in development, and the selection could have filled up an entire week back when TV only had three channels. We hope you’re ready for another one, as Fox and Warner Bros. TV are looking out past the superhero genre and down into Hell for a live-action adaptation of DC/Vertigo’s Lucifer, which could possibly take us into the world of The Sandman for the first time on television. Fox just has to, you know, actually air it and give it time to develop an audience.
Lucifer has received a put pilot commitment, since that’s apparently all anyone is doing in these post-pilot season years. (It means Fox has to air the pilot or pay a stiff fine, so it’s generally the next best thing to a full series order.) The initial plot sounds like a simplified version of Lucifer’s story leading into Mike Carey’s comic spinoff series, as it sees Lucifer growing so unhappy with his reign in Hell that he defaults his position and leaves it all behind. He then makes his way to Los Angeles, naturally, and opens a piano bar called Lux.
Several predetermined miracles are going to have to occur in tandem for Fox to pull off a show with the moral and emotional complexities of Lucifer and his Sandman origins. The network has no qualms with delving into sinful behavior, don’t get me wrong, but I can’t imagine the fight between free will and fate will be handled with anything but kid gloves. Deadline doesn’t mention Carey’s name anywhere, and it’s a fool’s errand to hope for Gaiman to get involved.
No, Lucifer’s storytelling will be told by Tom Kapinos, creator of the recently ended Californication and former writer/producer of Dawson’s Creek. One of those is certainly more vice-oriented than the other, and Kapinos is an interesting choice to deliver this story. (And it allows us to briefly consider David Duchovny in the role of the devil.) The trick will be turning this story into something that fits the television format and reads as palatable to both fanboys and people unfamiliar with the source material. No big deal.
To me, it’s a step in the right direction for comic book adaptations, following the path of AMC’s The Walking Dead and NBC’s upcoming demon-filled Constantine. There are so many amazing superhero-free stories in the comic world that would make for good television, assuming this comic-loving trend continues – and I’d be perfectly fine if original pitches fell back into good graces. Those who love superheroes need not worry, as DC and Warner are working on a Supergirl series, while Netflix has several Marvel projects in the works. (To name a few.) Fox also has Gotham premiering soon, for those who want just a dash of costumed heroism in their detective drama.
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