FX’s Landgraf talks “Powers” pilot, possibility of “Riches” movie

After FX’s executive session, I managed to catch up with network president John Landgraf and ask him about the status of the series based on Brian Michael Bendis’s “Powers.” Unfortunately, there hasn’t been much more forward motion since Bendis broke the news about the adaptation during the New York Comic-Con in February.

“It’s in development,” Landgraf reconfirmed. “We’ve seen a draft of the script, we’ve given the notes on it, and we’re waiting on another draft. But I liked it.”

If you’re wondering, Landgraf has read the original source material, and he’s aware of the challenge inherent in transforming it from the page to the tube.

“You saw this also with ‘Watchmen’ when it came out,” he said. “You’re making a property, you’re trying to figure out how to take something from a comic book into a TV show, you’re trying to make something that both satisfies the hardcore fans of the property, the story, and the characters, but also has the ability to introduce a new, broader audience to it. That’s really hard to do. That’s always a struggle, I think, when you’re working with a well-respected graphic novel. So that’s what we’re working on right now.”

Landgraf also spoke to “The Riches,” which he selected as the show during his time with FX that he most wished had taken off, acknowledging that there had indeed been a very real chance for the series to earn a third season.

“The ratings did fall off a lot in Season 2,” Landgraf admitted, “and yet we still thought long and hard. It was a very close choice and a very difficult choice, because it’s hard to say goodbye to that kind of quality. And to see what Dmitri Lipkin has gone on and done with ‘Hung’ on HBO…we knew we had a real talent on our hands, and those are some of the hardest choices that you have to make.”

One suspects it was probably even harder once Eddie Izzard began trumpeting how he was prepared to continue doing “The Riches” for many years to come.

“He was ready,” Landgraf agreed, “and there was a journey for those characters that was a journey that *I* really wanted to see, one that I thought was just a really sound, really inspired idea beyond Season 2…which, unfortunately, was the last one we did. But at the end of the day, we just felt like we had to make room for something else.”

Given that interest, would Landgraf be willing to revisit “The Riches” for an FX movie?

“I would never say never.”

  

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