Warren Ellis and Cully Hamner’s ‘Red’ is Returning to the Screen for a Third Time. Sort of.

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Helen Mirren with double AKs?! Yes please.

Helen Mirren with double AKs?! Yes please.

Almost a decade ago Warren Ellis and Cully Hamner created a three issue mini-series for WildStorm imprint Homage Comics. Red was a fun little spy series about REDs (Retired Extremely Dangerous operatives) coming out of retirement after the CIA sends assassins after one of them. It was a series that blended humor with action brilliantly, and I wished it had lasted longer.

So I was excited when I found out about the feature film in 2010, and doubly excited to hear about the cast; Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich, and Helen Mirren with double AKs?! Count me in! It wasn’t a perfect movie, but it was a lot of fun, and exactly the type of film it needed to be. It deviated quite a bit from the comics, but as Warren Ellis has stated “yes, Red the film is very different. Not least because it needed to generate more material than the book itself actually constituted.”

It wasn’t a huge blockbuster at the box office by any means, I’d call it a sleeper hit for sure, but it made enough to get a sequel in 2013 with a slightly bigger budget, and 100% more Anthony Hopkins. It didn’t do as well as the first one though, and long talked about plans for a third installment fizzled behind the scenes. Until now. Sort of.

Today Deadline is reporting that Red is heading to NBC as a series of hour-long episodes helmed by the screenwriters of the two films,  Jon and Erich Hoeber, alongside Red producers Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Mark Vahradian. According to the article “the TV series version will retain the core concept of the films but will be set in a more grounded and authentic world, focusing on the characters’ darkly hilarious struggles to survive civilian life as they simultaneously fight for and against the very organization that threw them out.”

There is no word on casting yet, so we don’t know if Willis and company will be returning to their respective roles or not, but I’d wager a guess that they won’t be.

 

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