‘Sin City‘ made a significant impact at the cinema, despite being controversial in style and content. How well will its dark and profane tales transfer to television?
Sin City was the ‘film noir’ of comic books – created by Frank Miller and published by Dark Horse in the early 1990s – using minimalist black and white and occasional spot-colour to create stories around the fictional hellhole of Basin ‘Sin’ City… tales that emulated the tone of private dicks, gangsters’ molls, vile bad guys and flawed anti-heroes. The stories were bloody, bleak, violent, profane and decadent and became famous and infamous for such in equal measure.
The comics / graphic novels were turned into movies for which Miller worked alongside Robert Rodriguez – the original Sin City (2005) and Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (2014) … and starred the likes of Bruce Willis, Mickey Rourke, Jessica Alba, Rosario Dawson, Elijah Wood, Benicio Del Toro, Rutger Hauer, Clive Owen, Eva Green, Michael Madsen and three now late talents Powers Boothe, Michael Clarke Duncan and Brittany Murphy.
The films received mixed reviews – applause for their distinctive rotoscope-like style which was different from almost anything in the early Noughties… but also criticism for being too nihilistic and self-indulgent in their violence.
Now it looks as if the concept will be coming to television, with industry site Deadline breaking the news that a tv series is under development. The Weinstein Company/Dimension are developing a reboot which will simultaneously follow the narrative that flowed through the various chapters of the comic… but try to find a way of being distinctive from the films’ take. That job falls to writer Glen Mazzara (the showrunner who brought us the likes of The Shield and The Walking Dead) and director Len Wiseman, whose credits include the Underworld films for the cinema and Sleepy Hollow and Lucifer for television. Stephen L’Heureux ( who produced Sin City: A Dame To Kill For) will also be on board the project.
There’s no news yet on when or where the series might eventually be seen – though one suspects it would have to be a cable/premium subscriber scenario as the material would be far too dark for network television without feeling neutered or diluted to get past censors.