Back in the early 1990s, when a young reader of superhero comics was ready to try an indie title, suggestions would inevitable lead to a handful of titles: Grendel, Cerebus, The Crow, and Faust. Each was out to prove comics could be mature and sophisticated in their own way with only The Crow becoming a transmedia property in the ensuing years. But that’s about to change as Faust has re-emerged as the next potential animated series from Sony.
Deadline reports Godkiller‘s Matteo Pizzolo will adapt the comic, created by writer David Quinn and artist Tim Vigil, for Sony Pictures Television. The original series told the tale of John Jaspers, a vigilante who sells his soul for super powers. The deal goes bad, of course, and Jaspers turns his concerns over to defeating Mephistopheles, rescuing his love, and saving his own soul. The tone will definitely feel familiar to those who’ve seen or read The Crow, but Faust always leaned into a different edge — one with more graphic nudity and violence.
Faust and Faust-related comics have continued to be published by various companies like Avatar for decades. Its resilience even lead to a Spanish-made film adaptation in 2000.
But bringing it to animation comes with a risk: looking old. Like John Carter before it, the themes and ideas of Faust have been mined by other, better known properties. What looked edgy and new in 1987, when the first issue was released, could be quite staid and dull at this point. Unless, of course, Pizzolo leans into the ’80s of it. Then again, the 80s nostalgia wave has passed again, so it might be in full ebb by the time Faust is ready for the screen.
Then again, as the project is just getting off the ground, there are any number of places for Pizzolo to take the concept. Maybe a supernatural revenge story where the hero hunts the Devil (in the 80s or not) is exactly what audiences will want three years from now. Also, considering the nudity and violence of the comic, there is an obvious way to set Faust apart, but we doubt Sony would go along with it.