I got to attend yet another panel put on by the Screen Junkies folks this weekend, and this one involved the painstaking craft that is adapting a comic-book to movie or TV format. The majority of the panel revolved around Joe Henderson and Ildy Modrovich, the show runners for Fox’s ‘Lucifer’ discussing the upcoming second season, and the challenges they faced in adapting such a character from the ‘Sandman’ comics into live action. For their particular show, Henderson and Modrovich spoke on how much freedom they had to make changes from the source comic like placing the show in Los Angeles, which is not always the case when a comic book is the source. Joe went on to say that the show being “so different weirdly sets us free.”
Later in the panel they were joined by Zack Stentz, who has been able to write a number of ‘The Flash’ episodes over the past couple of years. He spoke on how it was a dream come true to have been able to write the Kevin Smith directed episode of the hit show, commenting that “…being able to write something he directed was an absolute dream come true.” They all then discussed what writing rooms are like on shows like these, explaining that the best writers cannot simply be the guys saying “no” in the room, they have to have a constructive fix, otherwise they will just become the voice of negativity. Furthermore, they went on to explain how chemistry in the writers room is just as important as with the cast, as the writers spend an awful lot of time together, and if they mesh well as a team, they can come up with some amazing ideas.
As for the future of both shows and beyond, Henderson and Modrovich spoke on how ‘Lucifer’ Season 2 will be all about the Devil’s mom, who will be played by Tricia Helfer, a woman who apparently has a cat sanctuary. Stentz informed us that he is already writing the 5th episode of Season 3 of the ‘The Flash,’ and intends to do at least 2 or 3 more over the course of the season. He also talked about his involvement in ‘Booster Gold,’ a project that was announced during ‘Moviefights’ with Kevin Smith.
What are your thoughts on adapting a comic-book into a TV show? Have you ever really thought about the challenges facing the writing staff on a major comic-book TV show? Do you think it is ok to alter the source material significantly to suit the needs of a show? Share your opinions in the comments below!
Nick is a freelance writer based in Los Angeles, who belongs to the privileged few who enjoyed the ending to ‘Lost.’ For more of Nick’s thoughts and articles, follow him on Twitter.