Yesterday, Netflix debuted October Faction, a new series from Krypton and Sleepy Hollow producer Damian Kindler. The series, which stars Tamara Taylor and J.C. MacKenzie, centers on a family of monster hunters -- where the kids in the family have a secret. Based on a comic book by Steve Niles (of 30 Days of Night fame) and artist Damien Worm, October Faction has received a pretty warm response from fans on social media, who compare it to The Umbrella Academy. The series hails from IDW Publishing, who also publish Beau Smith's Wynonna Earp comics, and the pair are not too far from one another. There are supernatural elements, but it's in a fairly grounded world with procedural elements and stylish direction.
The comics, though, were wildly different, and really stylish in a different way. It was driven more by visuals than dialogue, something that had to be tweaked to make it work as a TV show. We spoke with Kindler about the process of adapting the comic, the role Niles played, and why he thinks fans will fall in love with October Faction.
"I read October Faction, and I was blown away," Kindler told ComicBook.com. "I was like, 'Oh my God, I totally see the bones of this, what it is.' It was not just about monster hunters; it had social issues involved, it was about a family, it was a family drama. Now, Steve and Damien Worm put together a hyper-stylized, almost dramatically sparse but hyper-imagistic world, which I knew would be really expensive and difficult to recreate, especially on the budget and the timeline we were looking at with Netflix."
That didn't stop him, obviously. Instead, he set about figuring out what the Netflix/TV version of October Faction looked like, and whether there was a way to retain the best and most important parts of the comic within those constraints.
"What I did is I put together a version of it that's much more grounded, and more based on character and intrigue and history than on big, huge, cinematics, and expensive action. And pitched it to IDW, they really liked it. I really didn't want to do anything with any kind of adaptation Steve Niles didn't 100% sign off on. I'd kind of put together a whole presentation deck, and when he looked at it and said he loved it and he was really enthusiastic about it, I felt very confident to then go to Netflix and pitch it, because I had Steve's blessing."
The project moved faster than anybody could reasonably have expected from there; after turning the pilot script in to Netflix, Kindler heard back two days later: they wanted not a pilot but the series. Kindler described it as a "high class problem" to have, and admitted that it was a mixed bag: while you always would like more time to prep your scripts, going into the process the way they did allowed them to avoid overthinking things in the way he says writers can do after living with a pilot for too long and fixating on what could be better.
"Once we started making the show and breaking the season, and really deepening the mythology and the backstory of the characters and working at the arc for season one, we had Steve come in, write a few times, read drafts, and he and I would speak on the phone. He was nothing but supportive, enthusiastic, and encouraging about what we were doing. That meant a lot because he's got a lot going on and he really was nothing but kind and appreciative of what we did with his world. There was never any issue with the direction we're taking creatively, which was all anyone can ask for when they're adapting a book."
October Faction is now available to stream on Netflix.