Sony announced a development deal yesterday for Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming‘s long suffering television adaptation, Powers. The show will be available to view on the Sony PlayStation. Let’s look at the series rocky road of development.
The television adaptation of the comic book Powers is a perfect example of how twisted the development road in Hollywood can become. Back in 2009 FX took the series all the way through casting with Jason Patric as the lead:
FX didn’t like the first pilot so they went to the trouble and expense of shooting second pilot, only to shelve the entire project in one of those Indiana Jones warehouses after they still had issues with pulling the trigger and green lighting the series.
It’s pretty obvious that this is all a counter-move by Sony to match Microsoft‘s announcement to stream a live-action series based on Halo, produced by none other than the man himself, Steven Spielberg on Xbox Live. Both want to build an all-in-one system of entertainment before the rest of the entertainment world beats them to it. It’s all about how we spend our entertainment dollars.
The CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment, Andrew House has this to say:
It’s about having a broad range of broadcast content to replicate the live TV experience.
CEO of Sony Entertainment Michael Lynton added:
It overlays extremely well with the demographics of the PlayStation.
Did anyone else just throw up a little in their mouths? It all seems like some crazy scramble to catch up and get their show out before Microsoft, because everyone in the video game industry knows that it’s more important to get out first than it is to provide a balanced, bug free, product.
Don’t believe me? Take a look at the amount of “Beta Stage” games for sale on the Steam platform. Pay for an unfinished game then wade through all the quick fixes, all under the guise of beta testing the game. This is what we’re seeing with Sony grabbing Powers off the shelve, a beta test for a television series.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Powers and have a bunch of the trade paperbacks on the book shelve behind me, but I want to see the series get the treatment is DESERVES. I’m just not sure that is going to happen here.
We’ll have to see if they just pick up the first or second pilot script and recast or try to get those same actors back. Recasting seems more likely, with a few script tweaks here and there after the Sony executives get their hands on it.
Hopefully Sony will at least get the series beyond the pilot stage and we’ll actually get a look at the show this time.