TCA: FX's 'Powers' Still in Limbo

The network is mulling reshoots on the project, based on the Image/Icon comic series by Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming, with a decision likely to come in the next couple of months.
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Jason Patric

Calling it one as difficult an adaptation as he's ever worked on, FX president and GM John Landgraf updated reporters Sunday on the cabler's buzzy graphic novel adaptation Powers.

"We didn't pick the pilot of Powers up; we went back and Chick Eglee, who had written it, did a fairly substantial rewrite that would require pretty extensive reshoots of the pilot," Landgraf said. "Right now we're in the process of deciding whether to pull the trigger on the reshoot."

Powers, based on the long-running Image/Icon comic series by Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming, stars Jason Patric as Christian Walker, a cop who works in the Powers division of the police force and deals with crimes involving those endowed with special abilities.

Landgraf said he's a fan of the source material and noted the challenges associated with adapting a super hero project with the comic's often dark tonality -- much of the first graphic novel features the Powers division investigating the murder of popular super hero Retro Girl.

"This is as difficult an adaptation as I've ever worked on," he told reporters Sunday at the Television Critics Association's winter press tour. "Difficult adaptations interest me but this is a really hard one." 

"When you think about a 10 o'clock drama -- a Sopranos-esque drama or any serious drama -- there's never been a feature film or TV series that's taken the super hero genre into that type of tonality, it's never been done and it's just really a struggle," he added, citing HBO's success with turning fantasy drama Game of Thrones into the 10 p.m. hour. "It can be done, it's just proving really difficult."

A decision on whether or not Powers will move beyond its current pilot stage is expected to come in the next couple of months.

The network topper also told reporters during his executive session that FX is looking to add a pair of new dramas in the coming year. The cabler in November passed on Southern Crime pilot Outlaw Country, starring Mary Steenburgen.

Beyond Powers, FX has Joe Weisberg's KGB spy drama The Americans as a pilot in contention for series order.

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