Marvel Entertainment might be enjoying its Golden Age on the big screen, but the company’s Distinguished Competition seems to have set its sights on dominating the television.
Just last Friday, we learned that DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. are developing a Titans live-action television series based on DC’s Teen Titans for the TNT network. Now, DC has announced that it’s adding another show to its growing list of comic book properties that are in development for the live-action treatment: Lucifer. According to Variety, the devil is finally getting his due in a new Fox network series that will presumably debut sometime next year.
For those of you not familiar with DC Comics’ version of tale of the Morningstar, Lucifer focuses on the outcast Prince of Heaven as he relinquishes up his duties as Lord of Hell after finally growing weary of millennia of caretaking of souls who insist on being punished. He substitutes one hellscape for another, setting up shop in Los Angeles and opening a piano bar called Lux. While he claims to no longer want any part of the goings-on of Heaven and Hell, he eventually finds himself pulled back into the fray, eventually setting out to create a universe of his own in direct competition with that of his father Yahweh.
The live-action Lucifer series will be under the creative minding of the creator of Showtime’s Californication Tom Kapinos and is under contract for at least a one-hour pilot to air, pending penalties, so we should at least get a taste of what the King of Hell has to offer. As always, though, the devil is in the details (PUNS), and, as the Morningstar knows, humans try to break contracts all of the time.
DC’s Lucifer first appeared in Neil Gaiman’s Sandman comic book series under the comic book company’s Vertigo imprint for mature readers. While he only appeared in a handful of issues Sandman, Lucifer’s machinations played a large role in the Sandman’s life long after the Lightbringer left the series. He later appeared in a limited series before finally starring in his own monthly comic written by Mike Carey and lasting 75 issues.
Sandman is another property DC is trying to get off the ground, with Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, The Dark Knight Rises, Inception) tapped to star in and direct the feature film.
Lucifer is just the latest of several DC comic book adaptations to either already be on television of be in development for TV including: The CW’s iZombie, Arrow, and The Flash; NBC’s Constantine; the aforementioned Titans for TNT; Fox’s Gotham, which premieres next Monday; the in-development Preacher from Seth Rogen and Adam Goldberg; and Supergirl possibly appearing… somewhere.
Just as I was with the announcement of the proposed Preacher series on AMC, I remain cautiously optimistic. While some of the more fundamentalist folk out there might have a problem with a primetime series with the Devil as the protagonist, it could work… maybe. Fox has to be willing to embrace the material for what it is or else it’s going to feel like a water-downed shade of its real self. I would’ve thought that Lucifer (and, for that matter, Preacher) might have found a better home at HBO or Showtime, but, again, it could work. I have faith.