Joshua Williamson: Moving Necessary Evil to TV

Moving Necessary Evil to TV

Late last month it was announced that the comic book Necessary Evil had been picked up by Cartoon Network. Originally created by Joshua Williamson and Marcus L. Harris and published by Desperado, the comic book told the story of two brothers who attended a super villain high school after their mother – the greatest super villain of all time – was murdered.

With the comic now collected in trade paperback and this television series on the way, we spoke with writer Joshua Williamson to find out more.

Newsarama: It's good to talk with you, Joshua. Tell us – how did this television deal for Necessary Evil come about?

Joshua Williamson: Back when issue #1 came out in 2007, I got a lot of emails and phone calls from people wanting to rep me and the book. One of whom was manager/producer Brendan Deneen of Objective Entertainment, who is also a huge comic book fan and the writer of the new monthly Flash Gordon series. He approached me to rep my creator-owned books and we got along really well.

After that Brendan took the ball and ran with it. We had a lot of offers and interest but last summer I talked with screenwriters Max Burnett, Chris Borelli and Jonathan Davis. Their take on the book and characters really won me over. They got what I was doing and their vision for the show was very interesting. They pitched the show to Cartoon Network, who was really excited about it, and ultimately decided that they wanted to produce it as a weekly, live-action television show.

NRAMA: Live action at Cartoon Network? Hmm… What's been done so far – is there a script for the TV show?

JW: The show is still in the early stages of development. I read the pilot script and really enjoyed it. Their take on the characters was so dead on with what we did in the comics.

It was interesting to read a story with those characters not written by me and some of the lines I wish I had written. [laughs] They took a lot from the first trade and expanded on it. There’s the idea that these super villain kids form a family, kind of like mob does. It’s all very cool.

NRAMA: How are you and Marcus L. Harris involved in the production now?

JW: Our involvement is very limited at this stage. The writers are doing all the work and heavy labor. We talk with Cartoon Network and the writers, but for the most part, it’s all theirs. Once things get further along, our involvement will increase.

NRAMA: What's the timeline for getting this on TV screens?

JW: It’s going to take some time, like I said before. We’re really early on in the development. I know Cartoon Network has some live action stuff planned for this fall, but also would like to have the new programming for Fall 2010.

NRAMA: Do you plan to do more issues of Necessary Evil?

JW: Absolutely. We are switching formats and planning on releasing specials and OGNs from here on out. We’re doing something new later this year. The book has been late for a few months and we wanted to catch up and get the book back on track. Our future plans for the book are really exciting and we wanted to make sure that we do it right.

NRAMA: Before we go, can you tell us what else are you working on?

JW: I have two new books coming out from Image / Shadowline. Johnny Monster is a three issue mini series that begins in February and then I have Overlook, which is also a three issue mini series and debuts in April. I’m working on a few new projects for later on in the year that I can’t talk about just yet. There is a film option for another book of mine, which we’ll be announcing soon, and where I’ll be much more involved.

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