John Layman speaks on second chance for ‘Chew’ screen adaption

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Hollywood Reporter’s Heat Vision broke the news that Jeff Krelitz and his company Quality Transmedia is giving the New York Times bestselling comic book “Chew” another shot at a live action and animated screen adaptation. Writer and co-creator John Layman shared his thoughts on the unexpected news and why the animated route will be easier to pull off.

“Walking Dead” production company Circle of Confusion produced the original pilot for Showtime and it never went anywhere. Layman deemed the pilot dead in the water and had no plans for screen adaptation.

“Showtime had a hard time with the tone. Tony eating a dude’s face may be funny in the comic, but it’s hard to make that funny as live action. Making it animated, keeping Rob Guillory’s art style, gets rid of that problem.”

If you look at Kreltiz’s IMDB page you’ll notice that he directed and produced an episode of “Torchwood: Web of Lies” and also acquired the rights to produce another Image title “Hoax Hunters” back in April. He also has produced some “Conan the Barbarian” and “Spartacus” motion comics. I asked John if he was confident in Kreltiz’s ability to follow through:

“Jeff gets the book, through and through. He’s a fan, and pretty much can recite the book top to bottom, chapter and verse. When CHEW was optioned by Showtime, they, and everybody, was very into the cannibal cop concept. I’m less convinced they cared about where the direction of the book was going. We want somebody as into issue #36 as they are issue #1.”

Very timely news since “Chew” Vol. 7: Bad Apple collection will be available where you get your comics on Aug. 21.

CHEW-TPB-7-Cover

Henry Barajas is the co-creator, writer and letterer for El Loco and Captain Unikorn. He has also written and lettered short stories for two successful Kickstarter SpazDog Press projects: Unite and Take Over: Stories inspired by The Smiths and Break The Walls: Comic Stories inspired by The Pixies.  He is the Newsroom Research Assistant for The Arizona Daily Star and was nominated for the Shel Dorf Blogger of the Year award for his work at The Beat.  You can follow him on Twitter @HenryBarajas.

Comments

  1. Johnny Memeonic says:

    Yeah animated is the way to go. John Layman’s writing is funny but it’s Rob Guillory’s cartooning interacting with that which makes Chew the funniest funny book produced at this time. You’d totally lose that with any kind of live action.

  2. @Johnny: I think it could be done humorously in live action — Monty Python, for example, routinely managed to engage in over-the-top, cartoonish violence that ranks among the best comedy in TV history — but I definitely agree that a cartoon is a more natural fit.

  3. P O Y O ! ! ! !

  4. Jeff Krelitz is also the rep who got Shadowline’s Peterpanzerfaust comic (by Kurtis Wiebe) hooked up with the BBC production (voiced by Ron Perlman, Elija Woods, etc.).

  5. giuliano says:

    Animation would relegate to a niche the show. Maybe an hybrid would be better. There are some very cool movies that use animation for some specific fragments and it works good.

  6. what is man? says:

    @giulaiano – it would yeah, but remember that that niche is still MANY MANY MANY times larger than the niche chew is already in.

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