Years ago when Oliver Stone was out promoting Natural Born Killers he was asked why he cast Juliette Lewis as the murdering Mallory. He said he had spoken to almost every working actress but Juliette Lewis was the only one that looked him in the eye and convinced him that she could kill him.
I thought about that a lot during casting of the new Powers original series set to premiere exclusively on PSN. Ever since the comic book series Powers first debuted people would ask me: who do you see in the role of Christian Walker?
I would think about it. For Christian Walker we need someone who could look everyone in the eye and make us believe they could be all the things that Christian Walker is and was: someone who used to be a powerful superhero with his own moral code, who had lost his powers and his way, and was now down here with us taking the role of a homicide detective specifically working cases involving powers.
With today’s news that the very talented and very unique Sharlto Copley has joined our cast as Detective Christian Walker… it is clear we have found that special person.
And then here comes Michelle Forbes as Retro Girl. One of my favorite actresses (Homicide, Battlestar Galactica) embodying a role that defines the comic series in ways we are STILL exploring. I’m so happy she decided to join us because, in my opinion, every time Michelle joins a show the people making the show are about to bring the goods.
Sharlto and Michelle join the incomparable Eddie Izzard, Noah Taylor, Olesya Rulin, Max Fowler, Adam Godley and the amazing Susan Heyward who will be playing homicide detective, and Christian Walker’s partner, Deena Pilgrim.
Now that most of the pieces of the cast are in place you have a sense of how high everyone involved in the production is aiming. It is one of the most ambitious adaptations of a comic book series ever attempted.
Some of you have asked me about the differences in physical appearance between these actors and the way the characters are visually interpreted in the comic book by Powers co-creator Michael Avon Oeming. Well considering nobody on the planet Earth actually looks like a stylized Michael Avon Oeming drawing :) , we focused on the spirit of the characters as opposed to their physical appearances. That’s what we were looking for and that, I can tell you, is much harder to find.
But we have found it.
This is just one of the many ways our personal dreams for this television show are coming true. Neither Mike nor myself were ever interested in a quote unquote faithful adaptation. We were looking for a spiritual adaptation. Like Dexter we were looking for the book series and the television series to exist in almost parallel universes. They should share the same spirit but both should be allowed to explore their different mediums as far as that takes them.
In fact, die hard or even casual fans of the comic series know that our first storyline was ‘Who killed Retro Girl?’ And now with the casting of Michelle Forbes, even you guys don’t know what the series is going to be on the screen. As a storyteller, nothing could make me happier. Charlie Huston and Remi Aubuchon, my fellow executive producers, and all the writers have taken the icons and elements of Powers and found the perfect television version.
As the series continues I think you will be delighted by the similarities and differences to the comics. I am so excited for Sharlto and Susan and all the other actors to begin to embody their versions of these characters.
As I write this I’m just days away from joining the production as the final days of preproduction give way to the first days of filming.
I hope you’ll join me here on a semi-regular basis as I take you behind the scenes on this exciting and unique experience for myself and the entire production team and cast.
We’re moving fast and look forward to bringing you Powers in the United States this December. As we announced earlier this year, every PSN user in the US will receive the first episode of Powers for free and PlayStation Plus members will be able to view the entire season for free.