The popular comic Chew is getting another shot at a screen adaptation, this time with Jeff Krelitz and his Quality Transmedia banner.
The comic, created by John Layman and Rob Guillory and published by Image Comics, was developed as a pilot by Showtime and Circle of Confusion but never moved beyond that stage. When the option lapsed, Krelitz swooped in.
Krelitz is one of the producers (along with Adjacent Productions) behind the adaptation of the Image Comic Peter Panzerfaust. He first translated that Peter Pan-based story, set during World War II, as a motion comic, lining up the voice talent of Elijah Wood and Summer Glau. Then Panzerfaust went to BBC Worldwide for TV development.
Krelitz now hopes to follow a similar path with Chew. He is producing an animated adaptation of the comic for digital and home video, while developing a live-action series for television. (He is in preproduction on the animation front and beginning to meet with showrunners for the TV series.)
In a nutshell, Chew centers on a detective who is a “cibopath,” a person who gets psychic impressions from whatever he eats, and is set in a world where bird meats are illegal after a bird flu killed millions of Americans.
The book’s trade paperback collections have hit the New York Times‘ best-seller charts, and the comic has won two Eisner Awards, for best new series and best continuing series, as well as two Harvey Awards.
Chew is one of those rare comics whose main character is Asian-American. Any screen adaptation would be a great showcase for such an actor.