Neil Gaiman fans shouldn’t expect a ‘Lucifer’ TV show true to the comic book

Fox”s “Lucifer” hasn”t even starting airing yet, but the new series has already had to face some ire from fans of the source material.

The show is based on the Lucifer Morningstar character in Neil Gaiman”s acclaimed comic “The Sandman” and a spin-off called “Lucifer” that was written by Mike Carey.

Carey”s comic book series had Lucifer leaving his throne in Hell out of boredom and to further rebel against his creator. In Los Angeles, he opens a piano bar and plans to start a restful retirement. But it doesn”t turn out to be so restful, as he ends up at odds with an Archangel who”s trying to get him to go back to his place in Hell. Much of the series deals with Lucifer”s attempts to bring free will to humans, challenging the tyranny of predestination. The character is charming and actually never lies but always tells the exact literal truth. He”s still utterly selfish, though, and enjoys manipulating people.

The Fox series appears to have some procedural elements, as Lucifer teams with the L.A. police department to catch criminals. It”ll focus on his life in L.A., not having him taking him to the many realms he traverses in the comic book. Like the comic, though, Lucifer, played by Welsh actor Tom Ellis, will be a charmer and an interpretation of the Devil that owes a lot to John Milton”s “Paradise Lost.”

The changes for the TV adaptation have ruffled the feathers of some fans of the comic, some saying Fox is “blanding down” the concept and some bemoaning the idea of “Lucifer” becoming a strictly L.A.-located police procedural.

HitFix talked to the show”s cast and producers at Comic-Con, where they contended that though the show involves the LAPD, it won”t be a “case of the week” show. They also said that the series is intentionally a loose adaptation of the comic.

“If you”re coming to ‘Lucifer” to see the comic book, you are not going to see it. Let it go,” said D.B. Woodside, who plays the Archangel Amenadiel.

Gaiman, on Twitter, made it clear that he”s down for letting other creative types do what they will with his characters:


Executive producer Len Wiseman told HitFix that the TV show is a much more a grounded version of Lucifer. It”ll focus on his life on Earth,” which may be necessary for a network television take on the story. You can”t do Hell and demons and gods and hippogriffs and new universes on a limited budget and under the watch of the FCC.

“You can”t go that dark on network,” explained Lauren German, who plays homicide detective Chloe Dancer. The series does promise to have plenty of dark humor, though.

For more of what the cast and producers of “Lucifer” had to say about trying to please both fans of the comic book and viewers new to the Gaiman/Carey Lucifer character, check out the video above.

As for “The Sandman,” that beloved series has gone through many attempts at a screen adaptation. It looks like that”ll finally happen with a movie starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Dream.