Deadly Class: Russo brothers project gets full series order

Rick Remender and Wes Craig’s Deadly Class, which was announced as being under development for television at the last San Diego Comic Con by Marvel golden boys the Russo brothers, has been given a full series order at Syfy.

The comic, which follows a group of teenagers as they attend a high school for assassins and make their way through San Francisco’s late ’80s punk scene, has been published by Image Comics since 2014. The book focuses on Marcus Lopez, a homeless Nicaraguan teen who gets recruited for the school. His first decision as a student is to kill Ronald Reagan, and that’s somehow the least bad decision he makes in the entire book.

As Bill McGoldrick, president of scripted content for NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment, expresses in a statement on the series order:

“We’re committed to developing graphic novels for Syfy and have found a rich, compelling, truly unique world in Deadly Class. Our producing partners expertly combined high school angst, 80s nostalgia and comic flair into a beautifully realised, visually arresting pilot that truly brings Rick and Wes’ acclaimed comic series to life.”

Syfy revealed the full cast list back in September, after its initial order for the pilot…

Benedict Wong (Doctor Strange) is Master Lin, the headmaster of the School for the Deadly Arts. “Deadly and feared. He’s an ever-changing chameleon who keeps his students desperate for his approval.”

Benjamin Wadsworth (Teen Wolf) is Marcus. “At one point we were all Marcus, an awkward outcast full of social anxiety struggling to find his place in the cold and brutal world of high school. Marcus is bottled rage, if his life had been normal this kid might have been an artist, even a poet. Instead he’s had to survive life on the streets of San Francisco. His eyes show it. He’s morally centred in an unethical world.”

Lana Condor (X-Men: Apocalypse) is Saya, “mysterious and guarded with a deadly reputation. Saya was banished from one of the top Yakuza clans in Japan, sent to the School for the Deadly Arts to redeem herself. Driven to be the valedictorian, nothing will stand in her way.”

Maria Gabriela de Faria (Yo Soy Franky) is Maria. “One minute Maria’s an extrovert and an exhibitionist, a tornado of ever changing emotions—fierce, charming, beautiful and oozing femininity — the next she’s murderous, feral, and crippled by rage. At the School for the Deadly Arts her instability is treated like a super power.”

Luke Tennie is Willie, “a hardened gangster, but underneath is an honest and thoughtful person who would rather be reading comic books and listening to music than engaging in blood work. Forced by his mother, leader of an LA gang, into the School for the Deadly Arts, he is under endless pressure to become the thing he hates most.”

Liam James (The Family) is Billy, “skater punk, son of a corrupt cop and now a misfit at the school. He’s off kilter and high energy. Billy combats every situation with sarcasm and humour. Always a glimmer of mischief in his eye.”

Michel Duval (Señora Acero) is Chico, “scary, muscular, son of a cartel drug lord. Everyone knows not to mess with Chico. The only one who can hurt him is his girlfriend.”

Guest stars will include Henry Rollins as Jürgen Denke, Taylor Hickson as Petra, Siobhan Williams as Brandy, Sean Depner as Viktor, Jack Gillett as Lex, and Ryan Robbins as Rory.

The pilot was written by Remender and Miles Feldstott. Adam Targum, lately of Banshee and Outcast, was the showrunner, while Lee Toland Krieger, who directed a number of episodes of Riverdale, helmed.

The show has strong source material to draw from, both narratively and aesthetically. Craig’s art looks like a cross between David Mazzuchelli on Batman: Year One and Frank Miller on Daredevil. Colourist Lee Loughridge gives every scene a distinctive look and mood, and Remender is a master at cutting his schmaltz with cynicism and his cynicism with genuine, heartfelt emotion. If this is half as good as the first trade of Deadly Class, the show should be very good indeed.

No air date has been announced yet.

More as we have it.

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