‘The Wicked And The Divine’ Optioned for TV, DeFractions to Produce for McGillens
Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie's The Wicked And The Divine, published by Image Comics, has been optioned as a possible TV series by Universal Television. The show will be produced by Milkfed Criminal Masterminds, the shingle recently launched by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Matt Fraction (informally known as the DeFractions). Milkfed signed a two-year development deal with Universal in February that also included an option to develop Fraction and Chip Zdarsky's Sex Criminals.
The comics series is written by Gillen and illustrated by McKelvie, with colors by Matt Wilson and letters by Clayton Cowles, and deals with a group of people who become the latest incarnations of a pantheon of powerful gods and are transformed into rock star analogs. Deadline reported the development deal on Friday, but offered no further details.
It's unclear what format the show might take, or which station might broadcast it. Universal Television's closest network affiliation is NBC, but the company is also tied to Syfy, USA, and digital distribution channel Hulu, so those may be the most obvious avenues. Given the comics' subversive themes and dark moments, it would seem better served by a cable or digital platform and a short episode order rather than a diluted 22-episode network run.
The comic features a diverse cast and a UK setting, and fans will probably be hoping that a US-based production will preserve those elements, and that an adaptation will show appropriate sensitivity in its casting choices, especially lead character Laura, a young British woman of color, and the series' transgender and genderqueer supporting characters. One big question hanging over the adaptation is whether the TV show will play up or play down the extent to which real-life musicians serve as the inspirations for many of the characters.
One of the most interesting aspects of the deal is that it follows through on Milkfed Criminal Masterminds' promise to represent creator-owned works by creators outside of the 'DeFraction' family. That's great news for creator-owned comics, which often struggle to land big deals because of a lack of institutional support, and it cements DeConnick and Fraction's status as two of the most powerful people in comics.
The Wicked & The Divine #11 goes on sale this Wednesday.