Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming’s comic book, Powers, was a huge deal for me.
It came at the time when I was really starting to branch out from typical superhero fair, and I was starting to get interested in reading comics that deconstructed the genre.
Powers mixed up the classic Cop drama with the world of Superheroes and it felt like a refreshing change of pace for me back when the comic debuted 14 years ago.
I’ve been hearing for years about attempts on trying to turn the series into a movie or a TV show, and truthfully, I knew it was going to be a hell of a challenge.
Thanks to Oeming’s art style, I was able to accept the tone of crime drama with the classic superhero comic flair and costumes, but to transfer that into live action it would have to take delicate hands.
The show is now finally happening, as it is the first original programming for The Playstation Network,.
The series first two episodes will be written by Charlie Huston, and the first two episode will be directed by David Slade (30 Days of Night, Hard Candy, Twilight: Eclipse and directed the first few episodes of Hannibal)
Yesterday during the New York Comic Con panel for the series, they premiered the first trailer. So lets take a look that and give you my thoughts on it afterwards…..
Let me do some comparisons for you guys.
When I saw the first trailer for The Walking Dead tv show, I was floored. I though the casting was spot on, and the tone was perfect. I could see where they did the changes from what I know from the comics, but it was clear, they got the spirit of The Walking Dead absolutely correct.
I don’t recognize the Powers comic in this trailer.
Again, changes are fine, but judging from this trailer, it doesn’t feel like the comic. The comic was able to have an element of cop drama with a good does of self aware comedy for the superhero genre. All I’m seeing is cop drama with a dash of super hero weird and it’s all being played straight. No humor.
Sharlto Copley is an interesting actor, but I feel he’s the kind of actor who needs the right director and the right role to really excel in. When he’s working with Neill Blomkamp (District 9 and Eysium), his performances shines, allowing him to use is unique energy to create a character that is truly memorable. When he played Murdock in The A-Team movie, he was able to play someone whose bizarre actions can be justified by Sharlto’s energy. Then you have him in movies like Oldboy and Maleficent, and his performance is all wrong and just not controlled. Judging from the trailer, I fear Copley’s performance is more the latter. I don’t know who Sharlto is playing here, because it certainty doesn’t feel like Christian Walker from the comics. His accent feels forced, and his energy feels misplaced. Sharlto is being asked to play the classic American Cop, and he’s just wrong for it.
Honestly, I feel someone like Dwanye Johnson would have been a good Christian Walker. The idea of the character was that he was a superhero who lost his powers. Johnson looks like a superhero, but has the right attitude and tone to play Walker.
Funny enough, there is another version of the Powers TV show that was created a few years back. Made for the FX network, they produced a pilot that had Lucy Punch play Deena Pilgrim and Jason Patric play Walker. Patric didn’t have the size like Walker did in the comic, but I know that he at least would have brought the right energy and tone to play the character.
I could also say the same for Susan Heywards performance as Deena Pilgrim. Deena in the comics had a sly attitude, a dry wit and the “could give a damn” out look on life. The Deena Pilgrim I’m seeing in this trailer is coming off more like a straight lace, tough girl and a “just to normal in this crazy world” type personality.
Again…where’s the characters from the Powers comic?
Right now, I’m judging strictly on a trailer (and hey, that’s what I do! My weekly column, LOOKING AHEAD, is all about me talking about the trailers and judging them) so I get that this is only a taste of the bigger picture, but I’m not gonna lie… this isn’t tasting very good right now.
Like I said before, The Walking Dead TV trailer felt like it got the comic’s spirit down. This trailer? It only made me start worrying. Here’s hoping I’m wrong when the series starts premiering in the Winter.