As readers of Happy! know, the comic book by Grant Morrison and Darrick Robertson ends pretty definitively. Or, at least, definitely enough that it may appear to be a surprising choice for adaptation as an ongoing television series. But as executive producer Brian Taylor told Slashfilm, the comic book and television series depart from one another fairly quickly.
“[The book] a very intimate little world that we expanded a great deal to turn it into more of like this sprawling, multi-level Warriors-like journey of evil to fill out a season and then seasons beyond,” he explained. He added that fans of the original comic book will “definitely see stuff from the graphic novel” in the series first two episodes. He also noted the comic’s pivotal poker game will take place in the second episode. The episode will also reveal one of the key twists in Morrison’s original story; though it will come by way of a Jerry Springer homage not in the comic book. Springer even plays himself in the sequence, as glimpsed in some of the Syfy promos for the series.
Looking beyond the point of departure, Taylor said, “We needed to add more villains. We needed to add more layers. We’re also thinking ahead to future seasons. If people love the show and we’re so lucky as to keep going, we’ve got a greater, deeper mythology of the bad guys and the good guys in this show waiting in the wings that we’re only teasing little bits of right now.” He also added that the intimate world of the comic book could easily end up “pretty vast” and “open up a lot of opportunities for satire and also just cool story.”
If the plan is to open up the world, there are several characters who could easily be expanded upon. Maireadh McCarthy, for example, barely exists in the Morrison/Robertson version. But Taylor’s mention of a deeper mythology makes this reader immediately think about a throwaway moment in the comic book when Happy mentions talking to other imaginary friends. It is very easy to think Taylor and Morrison — who is also an executive producer — would build on that idea.
Happy! debuts December 6th on Syfy