Jason Patric Signed to Star in “Powers”
Jason Patric appears to have nabbed the lead in the FX adaptation of Brian Michael Bendis & Michael Avon Oeming’s Powers. Initially, Kyle Chandler was rumored in March to be eyed for the part of Christian Walker but the news of Patric’s signing broke late last night.
Patric would be partnered with British star Lucy Punch, playing Deena Pilgrim, in the pilot which Bendis said should be shooting over the summer. At present, FX has not confirmed its interest beyond the pilot, which Bendis wrote before being rewritten by “Chick” Eglee.
Previously cast was Charles S. Dutton, playing Captain Cross, head of the Homicide Division where Walker and Pilgrim work. Also in the cast is 11-year-old Bailee Madison (Just Go With It.), playing Calista, a girl raised by her stepdad Eagle, a man with powers. She will come to live with Pilgrim after Eagle’s wife is murdered and the stepfather vanishes.
Powers was launched in 2000 from Image Comics where is earned the Eisner Award for Best New Series in 2001. Bendis subsequently won Eisners in 2002 and 2003 as Best Writer. By 2004, Bendis’ value to Marvel was such that they created the Icon imprint for creator-owned material with Powers being the first series to launch under that umbrella.
The book has evolved slowly through the years now publishing its third volume, which launched in November 2009, with just seven issues published since then given the creator’s other obligations.
The series is set in a world where people with super-human powers but the general public is uncomfortable with heroes and villains using such abilities. Walker has powers but claims they are gone and works as a homicide detective. Walker has increased longevity, a fact he keeps to himself, and hints imply he has been alive for centuries to date. Pilgrim started as a beat cop before events led her to request a transfer to the Powers Homicide department where she was paired with Walker. She has her own secrets which have been rarely revealed.
Powers is a living laboratory for experimental storytelling with Bendis often inspired by rock star lives, eschewing traditional action for more character-based procedurals. Often the point of view is from the general public and not the heroes.
It was first optioned for adaptation by Sony in 2001. The feature film was developed for a time then ultimately abandoned. In 2009, Bendis told MTV, “When we first sold it as a feature, we were lucky to get it optioned right away by Sony. We had to sit through waves of screenplays that were just inappropriate for the product, and for fans of the book. There were whole drafts of the screenplay without Deena Pilgrim in them. They’d hand me the screenplay and go, ‘What’s wrong with this?’ and I’d go ‘He has no one to talk to!’
“After years of that it’s nice to have come out the other side and finally been given my chance to find out what the live-action language of ‘Powers’ is, versus the comic book language of Powers.”
There are over a dozen trade paperback collections and half-a-dozen hardcover collecting the complete run to date.