I love “Lucifer”. No, I don’t mean I spend my time worshipping Satan or anything. I’m referring to “Lucifer”, writer Mike Carey and artist Pete Gross’ epic mythological tale published under DC Comics’ vaunted Vertigo imprint. The comic book series, which ran for 75 issues, followed Lucifer Morningstar, the biblical fallen angel who managed to cheat his way out of the frustrating stewardship of Hell into the ownership of an LA jazz club. What starts off a retirement of sorts though, soon turns into a incredible universe spanning tale as Lucifer wheels and deals his way into and out of omnipotent power, facing off against the very powers of creation and calling to question all we think we know about humanity and the divine, all in a morally ambiguous narrative that examines just what it means to have true free will. It’s my utmost favourite long-form comic book story of all time.
So of course Fox is going to turn it into a cop show. Sigh.
That troubling revelation comes via Deadline who reveal that the after a lengthy back and forth with Warner Bros TV, Fox has officially in a pilot episode order for an adaptation of the comic, which will still Lucifer still as the ex-ruler of Hell “bored and unhappy as the Lord of Hell, resigns his throne and abandons his kingdom for the gorgeous, shimmering insanity of Los Angeles, where he gets his kicks helping the LAPD punish criminals.”. Double sigh.
What’s more, Len Wiseman, the director behind Underworld, the Total Recall reboot and Live Free or Die Hard, will be directing the pilot. While Wiseman has a good-ish eye for visual spectacle – and he even directed two solid pilots in Sleepy Hollow and Hawaii Five-O – he’s more known for borrowing ideas from other more talented directors and is yet to show the type of skills that will bolster my rapidly falling confidence that this series will be done right.
I was lucky enough to briefly chat with Mike Carey last year when he was in Cape Town for a book signing, and he revealed there that he and Pete Gross actually have zero to do with the series, and actually found out about it’s development on the internet just like the rest of us. Couple that with the above details, as well as Fox’s track record for genre programming (we will never forget you, Firefly!) and you can be sure that my expectations are so low, they’re positively subterranean.
Fox’s current big comic book adaptation, Gotham, may be a ratings juggernaut, but critical consensus has been very patchy for its first season. If the network couldn’t even pull off consistent quality on a Batman origin story, what are the chances they will do justice to a mature, epic tale where the literal Lord of Hell is the hero? CBS’ Constantine, while a fantastic supernatural show with an engaging lead actor, is barely clinging on to dear life in the ratings, so I just don’t see this sticking around!
As we heard last year when the news first broke that a Lucifer adaptation was in the works, Californication creator Tom Kapinos will be showrunner as well as penning the pilot, while action movie producer extraordinaire Jerry Bruckheimer will be working as executive producing.
Last Updated: February 24, 2015