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From the Desk of Ed Brubaker

It has been far too long since my last newsletter, to the point where many of you have checked in to see if this was still a going concern or not... And I promise it is. The last few months, between writing the TV show and getting scripts done for Sean, I have barely had time to sleep, so it's been hard to keep up with just about anything. 

But here we are now... and I have already started lining up ideas for the next newsletter, where I'm going to interview some creator friends. So don't worry, this newsletter may not arrive every week, but it will keep arriving... 

All right, so first up this time, we just send issue 15 of KILL OR BE KILLED to the printer, so let's do a preview of the first 5 pages. This is the beginning of the 4th arc, and after the end of last issue, things with Dylan's sanity are obviously starting to come more into focus... 
As you can see, things are going badly for our "hero" as usual... And aren't Sean and Bettie just continuing to knock it out of the park on the art and coloring? (Yes, they are). 

Alright, I know you all like to see the behind-the-scenes process stuff here, so here's a few versions of the cover for the next issue after this... first the sketch... 
And then the final painting... 
You can see how initially, Sean was planning to do the same color palette for every cover, but then he changed his mind, so each issue, the colors gets warmer, sort of. Stuff like that fascinates me. I love to watch his craft every month. 
KILL OR BE KILLED MOVIE NEWS
Earlier this week, on a fairly busy news day (Disney buying Fox) it was announced that a movie adaptation of KILL OR BE KILLED is in the works, with the director of the JOHN WICK movies attached. Here's some articles about it: 

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/heat-vision/john-wick-director-tackling-ed-brubaker-comic-kill-be-killed-1066847

https://www.cbr.com/john-wick-director-brubaker-phillips-kill-or-be-killed-movie/

These kinds of articles can often get minor details wrong (for example, a few said I did rewrites on the Captain America: Winter Soldier movie, but I did not) and they never mention the rest of the creative team enough, but this time out the guy who put the entire package together barely got mentioned, so I thought I'd take a moment to explain how this deal came together... 
 
What happened is around the time issue 3 or 4 was out, my agent told me there was a producer named Jeff Waxman who he wanted me to talk to, who was interested in KILL OR BE KILLED. Jeff had been a producer on JOHN WICK Chapter Two, and he and the director, Chad Stahelski wanted to do another project, and he’d brought the comics to Chad when they were doing reshoots in Montreal, and gotten him interested.
 
Strangely, though, I already knew Chad because years ago we were talking about making a movie together, back when he and David Leitch were making other directors look good. So I met up with Jeff and Chad to discuss the project, and we were all just on the same page about what it should be, it was that simple. I even suggested a screenwriter I thought could do the adaptation, and they liked my suggestion. I’d recently read a draft of INCOGNITO (which has been in development for a while at Sony) by a writer named Dan Casey, who I thought really got the voice of the work into the script.  They were already familiar with Dan’s work (Dan is most known in LA for his uncredited rewrite of 10 Cloverfield Lane) so it all just kind of fell into place.
 
I reached out to Dan to see if he was interested, and then Jeff and Chad took the project to Basil Iwanyk at Thunder Road, who produced the JOHN WICK movies as well as a lot of other great genre films.
 
So that's how the sausage was made this time. 
 
But I am actually really excited about this one, and have high hopes. I always want to be involved in the process on any adaptations of our books, and now that I’ve been working in film and TV for a few years, I’ve got a better idea of what that means and how to do it. 
TOO OLD TO DIE YOUNG
The TV series that I co-created with Nicolas Winding Refn is currently in production in Los Angeles, as I mentioned earlier, and here are a few stills from the show's Instagram page... 
You can find more of these on set photos and behind the scenes clips of Refn and the great Darius Khondji at work at this link: 

https://www.instagram.com/totdytv/ 

And I highly recommend following it if you're a fan. Refn plans to show way more stuff than I expected, and the show is shooting until the end of August, so there'll be a lot to see as it goes on. 
VELVET TV development... 
It's been so long since I've done one of these that a VELVET development deal for television was also announced a little while back... Here's a link to one of the articles: 

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/kyle-killen-adapting-ed-brubakers-velvet-paramount-network-1045282

This one, I'm not so in the loop on, but I am really hoping it comes together. They're all very full-steam ahead at Paramount, from what I understand. The last I heard, Paramount was commissioning some scripts for the season but hadn't yet greenlit the series. So, fingers crossed, and I'll keep you in the loop whenever I hear anything. 
Random Questions
A lot of people have written in to ask questions, the most popular of which lately has been, "Are you working on Season Two of WESTWORLD?" 

The answer to that is, no. I was only there for the first season, and then me and Refn sold our show to Amazon, and I've been working on that for the last year and a half. I actually had wrapped from WESTWORLD over a year before the first episode aired on HBO, that's how long things take in television. Unless you're South Park, I guess. 

But from what I understand, Season two is close to wrapping production, so you should all start getting very excited for it to start airing, I would imagine. Though, I confess I know nothing about what's going on this season, unless it's stuff we talked about during season one, which I'm sworn to secrecy about. 

Another question I got was, "What books are you reading for research right now?" which is probably easier to answer with a photo. Hold on, let me get my phone... 
As you can see, I'm deep in the research phase for what I've been referring to as the "sequel book" to THE FADE OUT. A few readers wrote in worried it was a direct sequel, actually, telling me to leave the book to stand alone, so I should point out here, this as-yet-untitled book isn't really a "sequel" in the traditional sense. It's more like another book in that same world, starring someone who was a side character in THE FADE OUT. It takes place at the end of the 50s, when television was really taking over in Los Angeles, which is why I've been doing so much reading about TV's early days. 

Other than that, I don't want to say too much. Just that it's coming at some point in our future. The things filling my future projects notebooks right now are this book and some CRIMINAL ideas. 

***

All right, it's time to go do some last minute Christmas shopping while the sun is still out here... so that wraps up this late late newsletter. I'll be back soon, and if you have any questions you want me to answer next time, send them to me at: criminalcomic@gmail.com 

Happy New Year! 
Copyright © 2017 Basement Gang Inc., All rights reserved.


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