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Adapt This: “Olympus” by Nathan Edmondson and Christian Ward


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With Hollywood turning more of its attention to the world of graphic novels for inspiration, I’ll cast the spotlight on a new comic book each week that has the potential to pack a theater or keep you glued to your television screens. At the end of some “Adapt This” columns, you’ll also find thoughts from various comic creators about the books they’d like to see make the jump from page to screen.

This Week’s Book: Olympus by Nathan Edmondson (w) & Christian Ward (a)

The Premise: Brothers Castor and Pollux are bounty hunters for the gods, tasked by their father Zeus to track down fugitives from Olympus and keep the balance between the mortal realm and that of the divine. When someone manages to escape from Hades during one of the brothers’ missions, the pair must use all of their skills — and the favors they’re owed — to prevent an apocalyptic meeting of human and god.

The Pitch: Olympus combines all of the best elements of a buddy cop show (or in this case, buddy bounty hunters) with a hefty dose of supernatural adventure. Rather than having its characters deal with vampires or werewolves, however, the Gemini brothers operate in the world of the Greek gods and their mythology, chasing down rebellious deities and immortals who violate the laws that govern immortals’ interactions with Earth.

At a basic level, Olympus shares a lot of elements with the television series “Supernatural,” which has developed a loyal following over the course of its long run for finding the right mix of similar elements. Both series follow a pair of brothers with very different personalities as they “solve” something that threatens the balance between our world and everything that lies outside it. Their relationship is the centerpiece of the series, and much of the drama and narrative glue comes from the brothers’ interaction with each other and the strange world in which they operate.

Still, an “Olympus” television series would offer quite a different take on the conventions of the “buddies saving the world from supernatural stuff” theme, as Castor and Pollux receive their assignments directly from Zeus himself, and are relatively immortal in their own right. The difficulty in their tasks often stems from being overmatched by the subjects they pursue, who can still give them a good beating when necessary. (They are gods, after all.) In order to accomplish their missions, the brothers rely heavily on cooperative tactics to bring down their targets, and often make use of their own arsenal of supernatural weapons — including a magical hook and chain used to send their subject back to Hades.

Given the story’s emphasis on the brothers gathering the right information and equipment for each job, an adaptation of Olympus would actually be a mix of elements from shows like “Supernatural” and “Burn Notice,” building on a foundation of familial drama and supernatural elements with intelligent procedural aspects and fast-paced, explosive action. The brothers would receive an assignment, figure out a way to handle it, then procure everything they need to make it happen in the first half of an episode. Once all of that happens, they’d set the plan in motion, deal with the inevitable unforeseen events, and then conclude by celebrating with some drinks, some furthering of an over-arching plot thread, and an occasional bar brawl.

Of course, with so much emphasis on the Gemini brothers, the choice of actors playing Castor and Pollux is possibly the most important factor in an adaptation’s success. The pair need to be brothers who will sacrifice everything for each other — and have clearly done so on more than one occasion. Without that level of chemistry, the entire series will suffer, and probably won’t develop the momentum for a long run.

There’s also a need for some creative effects in an “Olympus” series, as there’s no shortage of magical artifacts wielded by both the brothers and their subjects popping up throughout the series. Shows like “Supernatural” have done a great job with this type of thing lately, though, so the necessary effects are less of a concern now than they would’ve been a few years ago.

The Closing Argument: Cast a pair of talented young actors with great chemistry and have them exchange witty dialogue, punches, and the occasional kiss with a variety of gods, mortals, and pretty young ladies, and you’ve got the makings of a great monster-of-the-week series with Olympus. Castor and Pollux could easily be as likable for a female audience as they are for male viewers, with the series dishing out equal parts action, supernatural elements, and brotherly drama. Keep the whole thing feeling fresh with good dialogue and plot twists, and you have the makings of a fan-favorite program with many seasons in its future.

Would “Olympus” make a good television series? Chime in below or on Facebook or Twitter.


Rev Up

Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.


Give Back

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.

Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…


A-O Rewind

Celebrating Portlandia One Sketch at a Time

The final season of Portlandia approaches.

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GIFs via Giphy

Most people measure time in minutes, hours, days, years…At IFC, we measure it in sketches. And nothing takes us way (waaaaaay) back like Portlandia sketches. Yes, there’s a Portlandia milepost from every season that changed the way we think, behave, and pickle things. In honor of Portlandia’s 8th and final season, Subaru presents a few of our favorites.


Put A Bird On It

Portlandia enters the pop-culture lexicon and inspires us to put birds on literally everything.

Colin the Chicken

Who’s your chicken, really? Behold the emerging locavore trend captured perfectly to the nth degree.

Dream Of The ’90s

This treatise on Portland made it clear that “the dream” was alive and well.

No You Go

We Americans spend most of our lives in cars. Fortunately, there’s a Portlandia sketch for every automotive situation.

A-O River!

We learned all our outdoor survival skills from Kath and Dave.

One More Episode

The true birth of binge watching, pre-Netflix. And what you’ll do once Season 8 premieres.

Catch up on Portlandia’s best moments before the 8th season premieres January 18th on IFC.