Krypton is getting a spin-off — and it’ll give center stage to a character who has waited a long time to get his live-action due.
On the very day that he’s set to make his debut in the first episode of Krypton‘s second season, SyFy has announced that it’s developing a solo series for the intergalactic bounty hunter Lobo. Irish actor Emmett J. Scanlan, who will be recurring on Krypton as the character, is assumed to be starring, although this has not been officially confirmed. (via Variety)
Considering the long road that Lobo has taken to the live-action realm (and the fact SyFy hasn’t had the chance to gauge fans’ reaction to Scanlan’s interpretation of the character), the move is a bit surprising. On the surface, though, it can be read as a vote of confidence on the part of the cabler that Scanlan is hitting the sweet spot. Krypton, which focuses on the events which will eventually lead to the destruction of Superman’s home planet, has been well-received by DC fandom — and in light of the fact that a Lobo feature film seems unlikely to ever get off the ground, SyFy should at least be commended for giving said fandom something that they’ve waited seemingly eons for.
It’s not that Warner Brothers has never though about it. Guy Ritchie was rumored to be attached to a Lobo movie a full decade ago, an interesting notion which obviously failed to materialize; in 2013, none other than Dwayne Johnson was briefly inquiring about taking on the role. As recently as last year, explosion-meister Michael Bay was interested in directing the picture — but the script in play at the time, by Wonder Woman scribe Jason Fuchs, would have cost north of $200 million dollars to produce, a prospect that Bay inexplicably wasn’t keen on. It might just have been around this time that Warner’s brass decided that Lobo was better suited for TV.
To be sure, the character presents difficulties which may prove difficult to overcome on television. Debuting in the pages of DC comics in 1983, Lobo is one of the most foul-mouthed, amoral, misogynistic in all of comic history this side of Deadpool — with whom he shares a number of similarities. He was originally created as pure satire, a means of sending up such ultra-violent anti-heroes as Wolverine and the Punisher; he’s the last of the race known as the Czarnians, who disappeared from existence on account of Lobo having literally killed them all. Finding himself alone on a dead planet with nothing but his preferred musical genre (death metal, of course) to keep him entertained, he resolved to become a bounty hunter in order to provide for his beloved space dolphins (hey, everybody has a soft spot; Lobo’s is space dolphins).
He’s known for taking on any job, no matter how questionable, if the money is right — and once he sets his sights on a target, you can be sure that said target is toast. He’s often come into conflict with Superman, for the simple fact that Big Blue is the one being in all of existence he’s never been able to defeat (their battles almost always end in a draw, with Supes finding some way to appease Lobo in order to keep the body count of their conflicts as low as possible).
Lobo’s strength is virtually immeasurable; he can life weights in excess of 100 tons, and that’s actually his least impressive ability. He literally cannot be killed by any means, possessing the ability to regenerate his complete physical form from a single drop of blood. In the event that his body is completely destroyed, well, that opens up a whole new can of worms, as his consciousness can exist within the multidimensional ether until such time as he finds a way to reconstruct himself. On top of all this, he’s been shown at times to possess what he calls a “bottomless satchel” from which he can produce a never-ending variety of weapons, Looney Tunes-style. Although he doesn’t technically require them to survive, he is also known to have a profound need for two things, and two things only: cigars and booze. He is totally freakin’ rad, is what we’re getting at here.
Although it remains to be seen how Scanlan will acquit himself in the role in the eyes of fans, it’s safe to say that SyFy and partnering production/distribution house Warner Horizon Scripted Television have liked what they’ve seen out of him so far. In her review of Krypton‘s second season, Samantha Nelson of The Verge praised his performance, writing, “Krypton‘s writers have nailed their portrayal of the swaggering, hyper-violent Superman antagonist, giving him a 13-year-old boy’s lewd sense of humor, Wolverine’s regeneration powers, and a seemingly endless supply of medieval and futuristic weapons he can use to menace the heroes.” Sounds about right… okay, no, exactly right.
Krypton executive producer and showrunner Cameron Welsh will fill the same roles on the spin-off series. While no time frame has been announced for the series’ production or eventual debut, it’s highly likely that news will be coming down the pike at some point before Krypton‘s sophomore season concludes. We’ll be on the lookout for it, and we’ll keep you up to date.