Rob Guillory Talks CHEW And Showtime's Planned Adaptation

Chew artist Rob Guillory dishes on Chew, says the planned adaptation at Showtime is still in development and that the creators have two actors in mind for the lead roles. Read on for more details.

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By Mark Julian - 1/8/2013

Chew is one of the indie title that you hear a lot of good things about but for whatever reason, you keep putting off that initial purchase. Well, thanks to this latest interview with artist Rob Guillory I may finally quit procrastinating and purchase my first issue. Check out what he has to say about how he got started with writer John Layman and where things are with the Showtime adaptation.

The artist details how his involvement with the series came about.
Guillory: [After detailing his work for manga published Tokyopop] eventually, the Tokyopop thing went south and died. Then a few months later, John Layman started looking for an artist for Chew, which had been rejected numerous times by DC. Turned out that the first guy Layman asked was Brandon Jerwa [who Guillory knew from Tokyopop], who happened to be a good friend of his. And Jerwa referred him to me. And we just sorta clicked. Layman had the first 3 issues scripted when I came onboard, and most of the primary cast. My claim to fame is that I helped make them look weird. That’s changed as the series has progressed. I contribute a lot more, generally just with offbeat food powers.

On the first time he realized Chew was a success.
Guillory: Well, I kinda believed it was a good book before it ever came out, and I had been bragging to Layman for months before that we had a hit on our hands. But when it actually did hit, it was pretty nuts. That first post-Chew San Diego Comic Con was the scariest experience I’ve had in my career. Mostly because the success was real. It’s easy to read reviews online and kinda accept that we were doing okay. But when we went to the show and were mobbed by tons of fans that loved us, it scared the crap outta me and Layman. It took us a week or so after the show to work up the courage to start the next issue. The weight of success, I guess.

On the planned television adaptation by Showtime.
Guillory: We have an awesome script written by a great writer named Brian Duffield. It’s shockingly loyal to the comic. All the favorite characters are there, and the tone is dead on. Stylistically, it’s about as close as you can get to something as weird as Chew. So right now, we’re basically going back and forth with Showtime. Network stuff, which can move super-slow. But the good news is that we’re taking our time with it. If it does happen, it will be good. It won’t be something we just crap out.

On whether the show is currently planned as 30 min or a full hour.
Guillory: Well, it got changed to one-hour episodes as it evolved, but I don’t know if that was ever announced. It’s just something that happens as we experiment with getting the adaptation right.

About casting the show. Ken Leung (Lost) as Tony Chu is the creator preferred choice. But what about Leung's Lost partner Josh Holloway as John Colby?
Guillory: That’s our dream cast. I don’t know about Holloway’s availability, but we’ve been in touch with Ken Leung, and we send him books periodically. He’s a fan, and if the timing came together, he would be our Tony. But it’s Hollywood, and there are a million other factors. So we’ll see.

Click the source link below to see what Guillory and Layman have planned for Chew in 2013.

Chew is an Eisner Award-winning American comic book series written by John Layman with art by Rob Guillory and published by Image Comics. It is a story about an FDA Agent who solves crimes by getting psychic impressions by eating things, including people.

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ElBicho - 1/8/2013, 11:57 AM
Been with it since the first issue. Love the book and can't wait for the show.

Ken Leung is perfect for Tony!

I'd love to see Ian McShane as Savoy.
Mucklefluga - 1/8/2013, 11:57 AM
I love CHEW its a brilliant comic. A TV show would be amazing.
Mucklefluga - 1/8/2013, 11:58 AM
The thing im most excited for if it does happen is what Poyo will be like
Banner123 - 1/8/2013, 12:05 PM
GREAT book. As soon as I read the overview and first few pages, I knew it could be an AMAZING TV show. I'm thinking Showtime is banking on this as a replacement for Dexter when it runs it's course
GLprime2814 - 1/8/2013, 12:08 PM
One of the most ridiculous and awesome books I've read in past 5 years got issue one a gift and never looked back.
BigDamnHero - 1/8/2013, 12:23 PM
Amazing book. I absolutely adore this series.

@ElBicho, Ian McShane is an interesting choice, but I've always imagined John Goodman in that role.
thebearjew - 1/8/2013, 12:28 PM
perhaps ill ask for the chew TPBs for my upcoming birthday
GLprime2814 - 1/8/2013, 1:14 PM
^^ DO IT!
ElBicho - 1/8/2013, 1:17 PM
@BigDamnHero, John Goodman for his stature would be great, but Ian McShane's voice and presence oozes Savoy. Maybe they can morph into one for this.
SunfireUrA55 - 1/9/2013, 8:48 AM
FlashhGordon27 - 1/9/2013, 1:51 PM
Fun series, really enjoy reading it, but not something I'd read over + it's got just a bit too weird now haha (selling my TPB's, in UK only, but a TV show should be fun.

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