Oh hell (yeah)! Fox adapting DC Comics' LUCIFER for TV

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I’m a hypocrite. Just the other day I was ragging on DC Comics for seemingly not having the faintest clue as to what they’re doing when it comes to TV adaptations of their titles. Every network and their dog are seemingly making their own adaptations, all separate from each other, which could lead to logistical nightmares and audience confusion down the road. But I couldn’t care less about all of that today, as Deadline is reporting that Lucifer – my most favourite long-form comic book storyline of all time – is possibly getting a TV show if it’s own.

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Originally appearing in Neil Gaiman’s seminal Sandman (which is currently busy getting the movie adaptation treatment thanks to Joseph Gordon-Levitt) under DC’s Vertigo imprint, the character of Lucifer Morningstar – yes, that Lucifer – spun out into a critically acclaimed self-titled comic book series of his own. Based more on the portrayal of Lucifer found in John Milton’s Paradise Lost than biblical mythology, Gaiman’s version of the character became bored with his existence and frustrated with all the incorrect myths that had sprung about him and managed to escape his lot as overseer of Hell – which he earned by rebelling against the Creator 3 seconds after Creation – by manipulating events to result in two angels taking his place. Finally freed of his 10,000,000,000 years long hellish duty, Lucifer does what any fallen Archangel who once led a war on Heaven would: Open up a jazz lounge in Los Angeles.

That simple setup may be where his solo comic series would begin, but over the next 75 issues – all penned by comic book veteran Mike Carey – it would travel through the length and breadth of time and space and beyond, as Lucifer schemed, quested and fought, not just for answers to his own questions about the universe and its creator, but even going so far as becoming creator of his very own universe. It’s an absolutely incredible tale, filled with an assortment of memorable characters, that draws on most of the major mythologies and Carey’s massive ideas, and which, if done right, would make for one of the most ambitious TV series we’ve ever seen.

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There’s just one slight, teeny weeny, itty bitty problem.

According to the report, the show has picked up a pilot commitment from Fox. Yes, the same netwok who to many fans of a number of pop-culture hit series of the last few years, are about as close as we could come to the Devil. Fox tends to have a tendency to give genre shows the chop, way before they can truly find their footing. That’s if they haven’t already chopped off the show’s feet by airing episodes out of order, changing time slots without warning, keeping shows on the cancellation bubble and generally just treating genre fare like an annoying afterthought (see: Firefly, Fringe, Dollhouse, Almost Human, etc).

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Besides for their aggravating business practices, Fox has never been known to give shows the moral and thematic leeway that would be necessary to do an adaptation of Lucifer that is relatively true to the source material. And that’s not even taking into consideration the fact that a TV series in which the Devil is actually the hero is certainly going to raise some eyebrows among the conservative crowd.

But – BUT – if given its dues – not to mention giving the epically scoped story the appropriate time to develop – this show has the potential to be the next big thing. One step already taken in the right direction is that Californication creator/executive producer Tom Kapinos will be the man behind this. Lucifer certainly doesn’t have the rampant debauchery of that show, but its epic scope, themes and narrative deserves to be handled with the same level of maturity and given the same room to breathe. Now at this point, Fox is only committing to a pilot, so this may never even make it past the early stages, but I hope it does get the greenlight as it could be *cough* devilishly good.

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And now for a total relevant sidebar: Mike Carey – the very same Mike Carey mentioned above – is actually going to be in Cape Town this coming weekend as part of the Open Books Comics Festival. The Fest actually kicks off today, but Carey will be doing an hour-long discussion of his work at 14:00 on Saturday, after which he will be at the Reader’s Den stand to do a short signing session. You can find out more info over here.

Last Updated: September 18, 2014

Kervyn Cloete

A man of many passions – but very little sleep – I’ve been geeking out over movies, video games, comics, books, anime, TV series and lemon meringues as far back as I can remember. So show up for the geeky insight, stay for the delicious pastries.

  • I don’t see this working with FOX at all 🙁

  • Alien Emperor Trevor

    Is it going to share a universe with Sandman or be stand-alone? 😉

  • Justin Hess

    Could not give a flying fuck about the rest of the article after that last paragraph. And I haven’t even read Lucifer.

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