Fox has made a pilot commitment for “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen,” a television show based on the popular series of graphic novels written by Alan Moore and illustrated by Kevin O’Neill.
The story is about a group of legendary literary characters like Allan Quatermain, Capt. Nemo, the Invisible Man, Dorian Gray, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde as they team up to battle a common enemy -– probably best described as the Avengers in Victorian England.
Michael Green, who was involved in “Green Lantern,” “Heroes” and “Smallville,” will write the pilot episode and serve as an executive producer. Erwin Stoff (“The Matrix”) will also be an executive producer.
Should the show get picked up for a full season, Green will be the showrunner.
In 2003, “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen” was adapted to film by director Stephen Norrington. The movie, which was loosely based on Volume 1 of the graphic novel and starred Sean Connery, Naseeruddin Shah, Tony Curran, Stuart Townsend and Jason Flemyng, was not well received by critics or fans. It was a moderate box office success however, grossing $179 million worldwide.
Alan Moore is no stranger to adaptations of his comic book work. “V for Vendetta” was adapted by James McTeigue in 2005, and “Watchmen” was directed by Zack Snyder (“300,” “Man of Steel”) in 2009. Although both of these movies received far better reception than “The League of the Extraordinary Gentlemen,” they have still proven divisive among fans of the graphic novels.
This new project comes as classic literary characters are finding a new popularity on the small screen. Showtime is currently developing “Penny Dreadful,” a series about characters like Dr. Frankenstein, his monster, Dorian Gray and others from “Dracula.”
NBC is also set to launch its own “Dracula” series in the fall with Jonathan Rhys Meyers starring. However, NBC also recently cancelled “Do No Harm,” a show about Jekyll and Hyde, after two episodes.
No one has yet been cast in “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen,” but the pilot will soon enter production and, if it’s ordered to series, could premiere in 2014.