Holding Out For A Hero
By Christopher Rudolph
Why did you go with Showtime?
Showtime has a rich tradition of very gay friendly programming, but I don't think they have something like this. As Stan Lee said: "This thing would be interesting even if they didn't have superpowers!" They really know their stuff at Showtime -- they believe characters come first and so do I.
How did Stan Lee get involved in the project?
He called me! I couldn't believe it! They told me one day, "Stan Lee's on line one!" and I was like, "Yeah, and Queen Elizabeth's on line two." My favorite time in L.A. was going with Stan to pitch Hero. We had a strong pitch and I'm really proud of the script.
Will it be an hour show?
It'll be an hour. It's unlike anything you've ever seen before. I was frustrated with the lack of gay characters in comics -- there weren't really any heroes and when there were, I mean, how many times can you kill off Northstar? There was this debacle, you should look it up, called Freedom Ring, where one week the president of Marvel said, "We have this open door policy. We are gay friendly," but he unfortunately didn't look at the next issue where the gay character was skewered forty times by an evil alternate Iron Man. There were some unfortunate incidents, but there are some very positive steps forward.
Are there any characters you like right now?
Allen Heinberg, who wrote Young Avengers, is one of my heroes, and I love Midnighter and Apollo, also. Midnighter is so loved, but I would love to get my hands on Apollo and do him the right way. They just don't do much with his character. But I like doing my own stuff too. In my next book, Way of the Wolf, I completely reinvent and rewrite the werewolf myth. I love mythologies and I like doing things my own way.
When can we expect Way of the Wolf?
I'm just about finished with it. I'm literally in the home stretch -- writing the climax right now. There's such a camaraderie of people who write young adult fiction, and comic books for that matter. One of my highlights was at the San Diego Comic Con last year and doing the LGBT panel and bringing Stan Lee out as a surprise guest. People were crying and cheering. I'm the luckiest guy in the world living the ultimate fanboy's dream.
When will you find out if Hero got picked up?
Hopefully in the next couple weeks. Like I said, it would help a ton if people wrote to Showtime. They don't have The L Word anymore, and there's something for everyone. I think they need that type of programming.
So if it got picked up would it be ready to shoot right away?
Yes! If we got picked up we would shoot that pilot so fast. We know exactly what we want to do with every season, every cliffhanger. We know exactly what we want to do with this first cycle, this first season. We're still looking at casting especially with Thom and Goran. They have to be sexy -- there are some sexy basketball scenes and they're supposed to be a couple. The sequel will definitely take their relationship to the next level and throw many obstacles in their way. So we'll see if they can survive it. I'm so excited about the future and what it holds and how these stories can shape and change and delight and inspire the hero in all of us. I'm a firm believer -- call me one of those crazy optimistic people -- but I believe there is a hero in all of us.