A young woman creates the identity of a vigilante to fight crime and corruption within the city that took her father from her. Sounds like a superhero origin story, right? Well, don't tell Chronicle screenwriter Max Landis that. It is indeed the premise of Vigilant, a pitch for a pilot he just sold to Fox with 24 and Homeland's Howard Gordon onboard as a producer, but he'll get mad if you call it a superhero story.
After The Hollywood Reporter broke the news about the pilot, which Fox will have to pay a penalty on if it never makes it to air, Landis took to Twitter to complain about the superhero label [via Bleeding Cool].
I'm going to restate this because I don't know who wrote the announcement, but: Vigilant is not a "superhero" show in ANY traditional sense.
Vigilant comes at the whole equation of what a "vigilante" is in a very different way. It has more in common with The Wire than Smallville.
And while he's at it, he'd rather you not call his found-footage superhero origin movie a superhero movie, either:
On a similar note, it weirded me out when people called Chronicle a "superhero movie." Chronicle is like... Carrie, basically. No heroes.
So, it would seem Landis, who rallied against the Death of Superman, is more than a little touchy about being painted with the superhero brush, despite painting with the superhero brush in his own work. And that's alright, he can call it whatever he wants. Chronicle was a welcome surprise, and producer Howard Gordon has a great track record in the TV world (if you're not watching Homeland, you should be), so Landis could claim Vigilant is really more like a variety show starring cats and we'd still be interested.
And in unreleated, but still Reel TV news, HBO is teaming with Guillermo del Toro for a series adaptation of Nutshell Studies. Del Toro will produce and direct the pilot for the series, which is described as, "a Hitchcockian drama about a 1950s small-town housewife who becomes obsessed with solving brutal crimes."
That's certainly more grounded territory than the bombastic del Toro normally works in, but we assume he'll bring out the macabre nature of it and raise it to the genre-appreciating standards of the network behind it.