Frank Miller’s Ronin is a comic book story that has frustrated movie folk – most famously Darren Aronofsky – for years in their attempts to turn it into a movie. The US Syfy channel thinks it can make it work as a TV series, and has announced its plan to do just that.
The news about Ronin comes amidst a wave of other releases from the channel, as it prepares to pimp its fresh new wares to advertisers at today’s Upfront presentation. Ronin finds a 13th century samurai on a quest to avenge his slain master when he is reborn in a corrupt, futuristic New York, where he must defeat a demon that is the reincarnation of his master’s killer. In the show, he’ll awaken in the body of medical guinea pig Billy, and must find a powerful sword that boasts magical properties. We've all been there.
Also on the To Do list for the channel is Letter 44, adapted from the Oni Comics series, which Jonathan Mostow will write, executive produce and direct the pilot. Charles Soules’ comic book series focuses on an incoming US president Stephen Blades, who discovers a letter from his predecessor outlining how NASA discovered an alien construction project in our nearest asteroid belt and has dispatched a secret team of astronauts to investigate. They’re about to arrive…
Clone, as reported by The Wrap, is another graphic novel-spawned project, this time from Walking Dead co-creator/writer/producer Robert Kirkman. The series will chronicle what happens when retired soldier Luke Taylor discovers that the man who has broken into his home is his clone, part of a big biotech conspiracy that threatens everyone around him. We can see why Syfy might want to be in business with Kirkman, who is one of the team behind the biggest cable hit on US TV, and the concept brings to mind Orphan Black, which is gathering plenty of buzz as it enters its second season.
Finally, there are other series, including space bounty hunter series Killjoys, and Ascension, which stars Battlestar Galactica’s Tricia Helfer in the tale of a seed mission to a distant world that is in the middle of its 100-year-long voyage. The murder of a young woman causes the ship’s population to question the true nature of their voyage. How many of these shows will make it over to the UK remains to be seen, but that will probably depend on how well they perform in the States.