the dramatic series was cancelled twice in its two year run on CBS, that hasn’t stopped the producers from moving ahead with their plans for a third season. But this time, the show won’t be returning to the small screen. The third season of Jericho will be available on the racks of comic stores.
The Jericho panel at this weekend’s Comic-Con wanted to make it clear to attendees that the new series of comics is a direct continuation of the short-lived TV show; a third season. The speakers included comic editor Cody DeMatteis, actor Lennie James (Robert Hawkins), writer Robert Levine, and Jericho producers Jonathan Steinberg, Karim Zreik, and Dan Shotz.
Shotz assured the crowd of attendees that the new comic stories were being written by the same writers that produced the show. He said, “It was so important to do this as a team, this group is the group that started this show, and we wanted to continue it that way… and we wanted to keep true to the story that was planned… we wanted the characters to look like the characters, the stories to be from the writers of the show.”
Three versions of the first issue’s cover were revealed at the event; a photo cover, an illustrated painted cover, and an exclusive “Don’t Tread on Me” flag cover. The photo cover includes an image of James’ Hawkins character on his knees. That photo comes directly from the alternate episode ending that would have been used had the series been renewed for a third season on CBS.
As for the season three plot, Steinberg teased, “I think the show has been leading to a civil war, and rather than avoid it we decided to do it. So it’s a great big, giant war.” He later said, “As soon as you take it out of the [television] network, a lot can change, for the better I think. It’s probably the same story that would have been told, but now we get to see it and engage with it. It’s now an interactive story.”
Shotz said, “The A-story is obviously going to focus on Jake, but we’re also going to show things like Hawkins trying to help the right side.”
All of the characters from the TV show will appear in illustrated form and Zreik noted, “We couldn’t do this comic without the cast being on board, because we are using their images, and they all signed off and are excited.”
In terms of a Jericho movie, Zreik said that there is still a desire to do it. “There have been talks about a movie, there have been serious talks about a movie. Where we are right now is finding the right story to tell for the movie. It’s mostly a timing thing with writers, actors, etc., but where we are right now, it’s finding the right story to tell in two hours for a movie.”
The executive producer later added, “The intent is to do the movie as a theatrical release, not direct to DVD. If we were going to do it, we’d want to do it big.”
While the movie may or may not ever happen, for now fans can look forward to new Jericho stories in comic book form. The six-issue mini-series will debut in October with a new comic being issued monthly. Each issue will be released with two covers; one drawn by artist Scott West and the other will have a photo cover.
If the comic sells well enough, the writers are ready with plenty of more Jericho stories. Zreik said, “This six [issue series] is really about re-launching the story and the world and the evil that comes out of that, but we have the long arc for a lot more, and then concept beyond that.”
Image courtesy Devils Due Publishing.