At the Diamond comics retailer summit at Chicago, publisher of Image Comics Eric Stephenson told the crowd of retailers that the proposed TV series based on John Layman and Rob Guillory‘s comic book Chew didn’t happen because Showtime wanted Kiefer Sutherland to play the Asian-American lead character Tony Chu. And Layman said no to that.
Checking in with John Layman, he tells me that Eric may have been joking (though it didn’t seem to come over to retailers who were there) and that the series didn’t happen because Showtime changed their focus from shows like Dexter to shows like Homeland, and scenes of corpse licking while might work well with Guillory’s cartoony art, it turned people’s stomachs when on camera. So animation may now be the way to go…
I’m told that at one point early on that, yes, Kiefer Sutherland was mentioned to play Tony Chu, but John Layman used that as an example of something he would not say no to. The channel had bigger problems with Chew and the final draft had removed the element of bird flu , and it ended up “it was just gonna be ‘Adventures Of Cannibal And Cop'”.