Though I’m sure Alan Moore won’t have many nice things to say about it, 20th Century Televison and their partners at Fox have committed to a new TV adaptation of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, the exceptional comic book series that blends a staggering amount of fictional universes into one, from the worlds of Bram Stoker, HG Wells and Conan Doyle to those of JK Rowling, George Orwell and W. Somerset Maugham.
I’m sure that many of you will recall the adventure-focused Stephen Norrington movie of some ten years back, or the legal shenanigans that followed when Larry Cohen filed a suit alleging Fox had stolen the idea from his rejected pitch, Cast of Characters.
The comics, co-created and superbly illustrated by Kevin O’Neill, are rich and complex and could give rise to years worth of TV, maybe even following their multi-era structure of the comics.
Or, of course, they could be essayed into a lowest common denominator “Steampunk Justice League of the library.”
The only indicator of potential success or failure we have so far is that Michael Green, a writer on Smallville, Green Lantern and Heroes, will be the writer and executive producer.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the series is being developed with a “put pilot” deal in place. This means that there will be a financial penalty to pay if the show doesn’t go to air.
Of course, Fox are past masters are cutting a show off after just a few episodes, or at least before its due, and for all we know, that could the fate of these Gentlemen too.
Meanwhile, over at Showtime, John Logan, Sam Mendes and JA Bayona are working on the similarly themed Penny Dreadful…