After FX passed on the pilot for Powers, based on Brian Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming's comic book, Sony's Playstation Network decided to revive the show with a whole new cast. Production is currently under way in Atlanta, and USA Today has the first official photo featuring Sharlto Copley as Christian Walker and Susan Heyward as Deena Pilgrim. Take a look at the photo below, then read on for more details from the show's cast and executive producers.
The show, which will be the first original program on Sony's Playstation Network, is currently in its fourth week of shooting in Atlanta, although it isn't clear when the show will make its debut. The series is set in a world where individuals known as Powers possess incredible, super-human abilities. Christian Walker and Deena Pilgrim are partners in the Powers police division, which handles crimes committed by these superhumans. Here's what executive producer Charlie Huston had to say about the concept for this show.
"It's such a clever concept to try and imagine a real world where you actually have to deal with powers and how they impact society, and to do that through the lens of a cop drama."
While the show does feature a classic TV trope, pairing a veteran cop (Susan Heyward's Deena Pilgrim) with a rookie (Sharlto Copley's Christian Walker), it also features a very unique twist. Walker is a former "power" who has expertise in their abilities and how to get inside their heads, while Pilgrim is unfamiliar with this world, according to Charlie Huston.
"She knows nothing about this world. She's really young, she's really inexperienced, but she's a completely instinctive, awesome detective."
Brian Bendis adds that Walker and Pilgrim are "the heart of the show," and fans familiar with the comics are in for a much different experience.
"My dream was for the show and the books to almost run in parallel universes as they explore the same themes."
For example, Sharlto Copley's version of Christian Walker is much more upbeat than the stoic character in the comics, but the actor's audition immediately sparked Charlie Huston's interest.
"I don't know what kind of Walker that is but I totally want to see it."
Brian Bendis added that, for Walker, they wanted to find an actor who could be a cop, but someone that no one could believe was a "power" in the past. Here's what he had to say about Sharlto Copley inhabiting those traits.
"That's really harder to pull off than you think. You can believe he can do anything."
"She is this amazing fireball. You do 12-hour days and it's getting into 10 p.m. and you're in a parking garage and all you can smell is gas fumes and you're eating stale pizza, and Susan is down at the end of the ramp doing jujitsu kicks, spinning around and ready to go."
One of the other characters that has changed is Retro Girl, played by Michelle Forbes, a character which Charlie Huston describes as larger than life.
"I love the idea of a mature Retro Girl, someone who's been at the top forever and ever and ever, and having that not just be an internal thing but be something we're fully aware of the first time we see her. Like with all genre stuff, it's a chance to work out (stuff) that you're curious about and interested in in the real world and then put it into a form that is larger than life."
Brian Bendis also touched on the show's history, with FX ordering the pilot in 2009, which was shot in 2011 starring Jason Patric and Lucy Punch as Walker and Pilgrim. After the network tried to retool the pilot, they eventually gave up, allowing Sony to pick up the project. Brian Bendis revealed that working with Sony Playstation Network offers the best of both worlds.
"We're getting the best of both worlds. We're getting a network-budgeted show, and we're getting to dive in as dark and deep as we want to go."
He added that the first table read was an incredible experience.
"It completely freaked me out. I attempt a legitimate amount of zen about it. And then every once in a while, it'll just hit me in the face when I least expect it."
Sony hasn't issued a release date for the 10-episode first season of Powers.