From Option to Screen – The Books We’d Love To See Adapted Part I

Every week, hundreds of new comic books hit the local shelves. Many of these are long ongoing titles while others come and go quickly, being mini-series or one shots.

Last fall we visited a bunch of the books and titles that had options or media deals that have not gone beyond the option or if they did, they’re still in the wee early stages of ever getting turned into a show.

This is where we dive into the books that either haven’t been optioned or if they did, it’s long expired that we would all love to see and welcome being adapted into a television show or movie.

Saga

I recall Brian K. Vaughn claiming that he wanted to write a story so extravagant that it would be impossible to turn into a movie or show.

Well, that book is Saga and despite this notion from the creator and writer, I would totally welcome a Saga television show. It’s got way too much story to be a movie so a television show is the only way to do this, if possible.

But I think with our current technology achievements, we could see Saga make it to our screens. I can imagine the budget would be massive though. This is not a book you go cheap on. It deserves to be a top notch production if it ever did become a show to do the comic justice.

The original solicitation for Saga:

Star Wars-style action collides with Game of Thrones-esque drama in this original sci-fi/fantasy epic for mature readers, as new parents Marko and Alana risk everything to raise their child amidst a never-ending galactic war.

Saga #1 is still fetching around $150 to $200 for raw books while CGC 9.8 books easily fetch upwards of $350 to $400. There’s also a Retailer Incentive variant that easily reaches the $2,000 range. So not a cheap pick up but if found at the right price, this is one of those books that still has great long term potential.

This series is on a year long hiatus (BKV and Staples take breaks) so now’s a perfect time to catch up on reading it if you haven’t done so already before it picks back up.

Tokyo Ghost

This was a 10 issue mini-series by Rick Remender. Tokyo Ghost was a great sci-fi that has movie all over it.

It definitely sheds light on our current state of affairs with our love addiction to technology, particularly our phones.

You can still find these books in the affordable range.

The original solicitation for the book:

The Isles of Los Angeles 2089: Humanity is addicted to technology, a population of unemployed leisure seekers blissfully distracted from toxic contamination, who borrow, steal, and kill to buy their next digital fix. Getting a virtual buzz is the only thing left to live for. It’s the biggest industry, the only industry, the drug everyone needs, and gangsters run it all. And who do these gangsters turn to when they need their rule enforced? Constables Led Dent and Debbie Decay. This duo is about to be given a job that will force them out of the familiar squalor of Los Angeles to take down the last tech-less country on Earth: The Garden Nation of Tokyo.

The Wake

The Wake by Scott Snyder and Sean Murphy was one of the first Vertigo books I read back in the day when I was just getting back into comics.

This was also one of the series that really got me hooked further into the comic book universe, not caring about the value of a book or if I could flip it. Just great story telling with some awesome art.

This led me to discover Snyder’s other series American Vampire which was an awesome take on Vampires.

This series and title I believe did have an option at one point but there’s been nothing since. I’d imagine the option has long expired.

Nevertheless, this would still make a great movie or television mini-series, perhaps on Netflix or Hulu Original if done right.

When Marine Biologist Lee Archer is approached by the Department of Homeland Security for help with a new threat, she declines, but quickly realizes they won’t take no for an answer. Soon she is plunging to the depths of the Arctic Circle to a secret, underwater oilrig filled with roughnecks and scientists on the brink of an incredible discovery.  But when things go horribly wrong, this scientific safe haven will turn into a house of horrors at the bottom of the ocean!

This book saw some slight spec heat back in the day but you can find these for dirt cheap now. Pick it up for the long term gamble but honestly pick it up to read if you haven’t done so already, particularly if you enjoy Snyder

Lady Killer

Lady Killer was a mini-series split into two volumes. This book from Joelle Jones could easily make a great ongoing Netflix show.

Besides the story, the artwork Jones created for this series really captures that old 60s genre as well.

Josie Schuller is a picture-perfect homemaker, wife, and mother—but she’s also a ruthless, efficient killer for hire! A brand-new original comedy series that combines the wholesome imagery of early 1960s domestic bliss with a tightening web of murder, paranoia, and cold-blooded survival.

This was one of those books you ask yourself, why is this only a mini-series? It had so much going for it and could easily be expanded into many twists and turns for an ongoing series, comics and television.

This book heated up originally due to just how good the story and art was, still fetching a decent penny. I can’t imagine what’s going to happen if it gets a media deal or option. This one is bound to blow up when that happens.

Grass Kings

Matt Kindt is currently one of my favorite writers with his work on X-O Manowar, the recent Dept. H and many others, this book Grass Kings is no exception as its another great read and has media deal written all over it.

Honestly I’m not even sure why this one isn’t already a show.

From The New York Times bestselling writer Matt Kindt (Mind MGMT) and Peter Panzerfaust artist Tyler Jenkins comes a rural mystery series chronicling the tragic lives of the Grass Kings, three brothers and rulers of a trailer park kingdom, a fiefdom of the hopeless and lost, of the desperate poor seeking a promised land. Eldest brother Robert leads a grief-stricken life, having lost his daughter to a tragic accident, followed by his wife disappearing one morning never to return. When an enigmatic young woman named Maria flees to their community in search of safe haven, Robert takes her in. Will his decision lead to ruin and retribution dooming the Kingdom?

Sounds like the perfect show right? Being that its set in a trailer park, I could see this being one of those shows that can go lighter on the production set but focus more on great acting.

You can still find this book at very affordable prices. Midtown still has issue #1 available at the $10 mark. There’s still a good chance you can find these at your local shops as well.


That concludes Part I of the books we’d love to see brought to life on our screens. Until the next time, share the books you would love to see get media deals or options, eventually making their way to becoming a TV show or movie.

15 thoughts on “From Option to Screen – The Books We’d Love To See Adapted Part I”

  1. I 100% agree with Lady Killer, one of those rare books that got hot because of the content and no option hype. I thought it was just a mini because Joelle Jones works slow but her Marvel and DC books come out on time. I’m reading her Catwoman run as an extension of Lady Killer, not a stretch at all to see it like that. HBO or Netflix would be a perfect vehicle for Josie, I think down the line it’ll happen.
    I know Sheltered was optioned for a movie but it’s better suited for a cable tv series, too much story to tell in just 2 hours.
    For titles not optioned I’m going with Bedlam.

  2. I remember way back Nemesis was mentioned as a possible show or movie. That one seemed like it would do pretty well. Enormous was also getting a lot of press shortly after I first found CHU. That would have been a really good TV show as well! I wonder what the percentage is for a comic book option to actually be made into a full season production?

    1. Well, my wife has worked on some shows and a few movies. She says she’d estimate that around only 10% of shows and movies created and produced likely ever make it to the masses. It’s hard to imagine that 90% of content created is just sitting in the production room shelves or off on archive tapes..

      So I’d say for comics, the number is even lower. The shear amount of comics coming out compared to those that acually turn into a show or movie is a very large gap for sure.

  3. I totally agree with Grass Kings, no clue why this hasn’t been optioned. Great story with very little budget needed.

  4. So I actually pay attention to these lists because often times they actually mean something. Now that doesn’t mean it’s going to be a crazy spec that goes insane in price but you can find lists in 2010-2012 talking about Preacher, Umbrella Academy, Battle Angel Alita, Locke & Key, I kill Giants and many others that people wanted to see as movies/shows that were eventually made into movies or shows.

  5. I would love to see a Dead @ 17 Netflix show. iZombie does really well and this could hit the same audience. Also, I recall Chew was being produced and even had voice-actors attached. It seems like it has been dead in the water. Someone please perform CPR and revive it! And…whatever happened with Harrow County??

    1. I hope Manifest Destiny gets its time of day. Underrated series. Haven’t heard a peep about anything remotely being mentioned as a possible option. Obviously, it would be a period piece. Hopefully Kirkman does his job and give this series the notoriety it deserves.

  6. how bout screen to book? i spoke to the guys who produce the Yellow Submarine book at NYCC and suggested a Monty Python and Holy Grail book. great enemies great quest…..killer rabbit, black beast of aaarrrggghhh, knights who till recently said” NI”, tim the enchanter…..

    1. That would be an interesting perspective. Seems some comics don’t heat up as much when they come after the show or movie has hit our screens. The only recent one I can think of that was wildly successful was Rick & Morty

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