We’ve just run down a whopping thirty potential film-to-TV series developments that are in the works right now, and those sit alongside the many comic book to TV properties that are in development. Now, that list is already outdated. One of the most recent announcements is that the excellent Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell comic book series From Hell, which thoroughly explored the story of Jack the Ripper, will be adapted to television. The comics were previously mined for a pretty but compromised film adaptation directed by Albert and Allen Hughes, released in 2001, with Johnny Depp in the lead role. This From Hell TV series will hopefully be quite different.
This series will share a producer and exec with that film — Don Murphy and Peter Rice — but will otherwise hopefully explore the story in a very different manner. Deadline reports that Children of Men writer David Arata will script the show.
Moore and Campbell’s conception for From Hell was not merely to theorize on who Jack the Ripper actually was — the comics work from the concept that the murders were a means of obscuring the conception and birth of an illegitimate royal child — but also to thoroughly examine the place and time in which the Ripper murders took place. Moore’s script wove occult concepts and social history into the story, while Campbell’s art provided impeccably researched details, seen in his own unique style.
The 2001 Hughes Brothers film barely resembled the comic in most of those respects. Until we know more about the TV series’ approach, we won’t assume too much. One assumption we can make, however, is that Moore will not be involved, as he has sworn off involvement with other film and TV adaptations of his work. And I’d guess that respect for his wishes might keep Campbell from having anything to do with the show, too, if he was even asked to offer his input.
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