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FROM HELL headed for television

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Jack is getting ready for some prime time. I’m ashamed to admit that despite an extensive collection of non-superhero graphic novels, I do not own a copy of From Hell. The Alan Moore-penned and Eddie Campbell-drawn epic is regarded as one of Moore’s best, sitting comfortably alongside Watchmen and V For Vendetta. It’s an interesting take on the story of Jack the Ripper and resulted in an under-appreciated 2001 adaptation starring Johnny Depp.


Well, you can’t keep a Moore adaptation down, even if he doesn’t approve (and does he ever?), so From Hell is returning as a television series. The producer of the film version is busy developing a pilot for FX, which gives little indication of how graphic this version might be. Hopefully it will be better than the drab and predictable Ripper Street, which also delved into Ripper mythos.

According to Deadline:

When the current resurgence of event series started, Murphy thought that would be a great way to handle the material properly, giving the story time to play out and doing it justice. He reached out to Fox Group chairman Peter Rice who was an executive on the movie. Rice loved the idea and the project was set up at Fox TV Studios whose then-topper David Madden had worked with Murphy in the past. Arata was brought in as writer and the drama was sold to FX, with FX Prods. coming on board to co-produce with FtvS. Murphy is executive producing with Susan Montford, via their company Angry Films, along with Arata.

But this is a bit of a gamble. Adaptations of Moore’s work tend to attract a cult following, but rarely follow up with huge financial success. The current TV landscape has also not been very friendly towards Victorian-era shows, other than melodramatic rubbish like Downton Abbey – and that is actually also post-Victorian, better aligned with the time line of Boardwalk Empire. Jack the Ripper’s also doesn’t quite have the sting that it used to.

But perhaps From Hell can change all of that.

Last Updated: November 20, 2014

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