Criminal: Amazon Studios Developing TV Adaptation of Beloved Series
Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips' beloved Criminal series is headed to television. On Thursday, a new report revealed that Amazon Studios is finalizing deals for a television adaptation, with Brubaker set to executive produce and showrun. A writers room for the series is reportedly already up and running. Written by Brubaker with art by Phillips, the series was originally published under Marvel's Icon imprint, and has been published by Image Comics since 2016. While plot details surrounding this adaptation of Criminal are scarce, the television adaptation is expected to lean into the idea of an interlocking universe of crime stories.
This comes after years of attempts to adapt Criminal in live-action, beginning with a film adaptation that was set to be helmed by Kim Jee-Woon, but did not come to fruition.
What is Criminal about?
The stories of Criminal follow the various characters in the orbit of the fictional Center City, many of whom are connected by a multi-generational history of crime. The series has spawned ten volumes in total thus far: Coward, Lawless, The Dead and The Dying, Bad Night, The Sinners, The Last of the Innocent, Wrong Time, Wrong Place, My Heroes Have Always Been Junkies, Bad Weekend, and Cruel Summer.
"If you know the Criminal books, then it has a few small links to two of the earlier books, but I always make sure all the Criminal projects can stand on their own, too," Brubaker explained in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter in 2021. "That's part of what's great about the Criminal "universe," as you called it, it's so elastic that every graphic novel or one-shot magazine or even a monthly comic can feel like something new and exciting, while also being part of the same world of crime stories."
"Oh, several times so far, but nothing has come of it yet," Brubaker said of the potential of a Criminal adaptation. "There's currently a lot of interest on the TV/streaming side, because of its inherent anthology-ness, but I've learned over the years not to get too excited until cameras are rolling, or … uh, recording, I guess."
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