AMC Visionaries Explores Sci-Fi, Comics And Horror With James Cameron, Robert Kirkman And Eli Roth [TCA 2017]

AMC's new docu-series AMC Visionaries will explore different areas of fandom with multi-part series from headliners in that field. Robert Kirkman heads "Secret History of Comics," James Cameron "The Story of Science Fiction" and Eli Roth "History of Horror." AMC also announced "Rap Yearbook" from The Roots' Questlove and Black Thought. Kirkman and Roth were on a panel for the Television Critics Association on Saturday, with Cameron joining via satellite.

Kirkman's series will include two episodes that focus on minority voices in comic books.

"We're doing an episode about the creation of Wonder Woman, which is credited to William Moulton Marston, but a lot of people don't know that he had a polygamous relationship with two women," Kirkman said. "Those two women are actually very instrumental in the creation of Wonder Woman, and so we do kind of a deep dive into who they were as people and everything that inspired their lives and led to the creation of this character that is now this blockbuster movie that we're seeing this summer.

"We're also doing another episode called 'The Color of Comics' that kind of explores of history of black characters and the lack of black characters in the comic book industry," Kirkman continued. "[That episode] touches on the creation of Black Panther, the Marvel character, and it does a really cool focus on this company from the '90s called Milestone Comics that was founded by a group of African-American comic book creators to create characters that appeal to them and represented them, because there was a very huge lack of representation for them in comics even in the '90s, and so, yeah, we're doing both of those."

Cameron admits that science-fiction has become mainstream with films like Star Wars and his own Terminator and Avatar films. He wants "Story of Science Fiction" to delve into the literary works that made the genre what it is today.

"We want to go back through all the way back to John W. Campbell, the pulps, the '30s, and the sort of golden age of literary science fiction in the '50s  '40s and '50s with authors like Ray Bradbury, Robert Heinlein and Arthur Clarke and people like that, the kind of grandmasters," Cameron said. "Unfortunately, many of those have passed, but we still have a few with us, so we managed get some interviews with people like Samuel R. Delany and David Gerald, who wrote for Star Trek back in the '60s, DC Fontana, another Star Trek writer. We'll also be interviewing writers like Neal Stephenson and some contemporary grandmaster sci-fi writers about how they were influenced by not only the pop culture movies of the B-movies of the '50s, but also those sci-fi literature greats, and we'll even take it all the way back to Wells and Verne and show where ideas like time travel, for example, came from."

Cameron's six episodes will include topics like space travel, time travel and dystopias. Roth's horror series will be divided into subgenres like vampires and slashers. He hopes to make "History of Horror" a series he can add to annually, and provide resources for new horror fans to find great movies of the past.

"I wanted that special that every Halloween it could run with these six episodes, and then we can keep adding subgenres every year," Roth said. "Each episode, you go online and it literally lists all the films, and now you have YouTube links to the trailers and you get links to watch them on Amazon Prime or whatever. The movies are so accessible now that if you want to watch it, you'll get an incredibly fun hour, but you can also really do a deep dive on it."

AMC Visionaries premieres November 12 with "Secret History of Comics."