The Adventures of Luther Arkwright is crossing into a new universe — television!
Three River Studios announced on Wednesday that it has acquired the rights to both The Adventures of Luther Arkwright and its sequel, Heart of Empire, with the intent to develop a television program around them. Both books, written and drawn by Bryan Talbot, take place across a multiverse replete with parallel Earths each with their own versions of history. Luther Arkwright, a psychic secret agent with the ability to move between the parallel worlds via force of sheer will, fights the “malign influence” of the Disruptors, a cabal manipulating human development and managed to keep Oliver Cromwell’s government in power. Joining him on his quest is Rose Wylde, a telepath who can “communicate with her many alternative selves across the multiverse.”
And, then, for those of who have read Heart of Empire, there is the “legacy” of Luther Arkwright…
Three River Studios CEO Jonathan Drake will produce the series with Talbot onboard as an executive producer. “The best Sci-Fi always says something meaningful about the world or asks new questions about it,” Drake said in a statement. “[The Adventures of Luther Arkwright] thrills, challenges readers, and makes you think. Luther’s unique status as a traveler between parallel realities and his saviour-like qualities might liken him to Doctor Who – but an R-Rated version, that doesn’t shy away from sex, politics and the grim realities of violence. Bryan’s parallel worlds are woven together with a complex and consistent mythology, a rich array of human characters … and an eye for a much grander story and purpose.”
Talbot added: “I’m very excited that Three River Studios is working on a TV adaptation of the Luther Arkwright stories. With the digital technology at their disposal and a genuine love of the original, I’m very much looking forward to the series.”
It has been sometime since we read the Arkwright comics, but perhaps it is time to get reacquainted with them. Talbot’s art is some of the best, the themes are indeed provocative, and its storytelling unique. Seeing it become television would be a thing to behold, particularly if Three Rivers sticks the landing.
As with all new film and TV developments, it is unclear when The Adventures of Luther Arkwright might hit screens.