UPDATED: Marvel/Icon title Scarlet is headed to television. It is currently being developed as a series at Cinemax. Marvel Comics writer and creator Brian Michael Bendis, who co-created Scarlett with artist Alex Maleev, let the news slip today that the property is being developed as a series at HBO. Deadline has confirmed that the project indeed is in development but at HBO sibling Cinemax. Bendis, co-creator of the Marvel character Jessica Jones and the long-running Marvel/Icon title Powers, both which have been adapted for television, spoke of the potential Scarlett TV series at the ATX Television Festival in Austin.
Speaking about his ongoing comics work, Bendis said “I do a book called Scarlet which is soon to be announced also in our universe of television. Not announced yet, but HBO.” Bendis was careful to add that the project is “at the earliest stage,” but that “the team around it…will be announced as soon as all are on the same page.”
First published in 2010, the series follows a rebellious young Portland, Oregon woman named Scarlet Rue who ends up sparking a second American revolution. Drawing comparisons to (among other things) The Punisher in tone, the series is known for confrontational politics and intense violence. As Bendis put it during today’s panel, “Scarlet is a list of things you can’t get made. Here’s a female lead who’s killing cops because her world is broken.” But, he says, “when it was sold it was sold to people who were actively looking for that, so that put us in a good place. So stay tuned.”
Like Powers, Scarlet runs on Icon Comics, the creator-owned imprint Marvel launched in 2004 in part to bring Bendis and his Powers co-creator Michael Avon Oeming and Kabuki creator David Mack over from Image Comics. Among other titles, Icon is also the home of Mark Millar’s Kick Ass and The Secret Service, both of which received film adaptations directed by Matthew Vaughn. In addition to his Icon titles, Brian Michael Bendis is also the writer behind some of the biggest titles in the mainstream of Marvel Comics, including Ultimate Spider-Man and Age Of Ultron, with numerous elements from his work making their way into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Cinemax is having early success with the series adaptation of Robert Kirkman’s comics Outcast, which recently launched to record ratings.