Amazon Closes In On ‘Criminal’ By Brubaker And Phillips For TV Adaptation

by Erik Amaya

Amazon Studios is going to try it again with an Image Comics adaptation.

Deadline reports the streaming platform is “finalizing deals” to adapt Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips‘s interlocking anthology series Criminal as a television show. Brubaker will serve as executive producer and showrunner, leading a writers’ room that is, reportedly, already at work breaking stories for the season.

Anchored by the death of Teeg Lawless, Criminal tells the stories of various characters intersecting with the murder and character as they get up to various types of lawlessness. Tales span decades with families drawn into lives of crime and others getting their comeuppance. Unlike most of Brubaker and Phillips’s other crime sagas, Criminal enjoys an irregular publishing schedule with the pair returning to its world every now and again.

Should the deals get finalized — Deadline suggests a stumbling block revolves around credit for producers who initially optioned the comic book several years ago — Criminal will be the latest attempt by Amazon to generate a successful comic book adaptation following the stunning results of The Boys and Invincible. Their most recent effort, Paper Girls, was cancelled after a single, eight-episode season. Of course, the irregular publishing schedule and anthology nature of Criminal could easily prove advantageous in a streaming landscape where programs are cancelled far too soon and take upwards of two years between seasons to make.

As the deal is not yet done, it is unclear when or if Criminal will make it to screens.

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