Sin City, Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller’s 2005 film based on Miller’s comic of the same name, was a sexy, violent neo-noir delight that looked like a graphic novel come to furious life. The sequel, 2014’s Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, was… not.
There’s still magic to be found in Sin City, though, as anyone who’s just seen the film or picked up one of Miller’s comics for the first time can attest. Even as it pays homage to countless noir stories told before it and even as it’s had imitators since (like Miller’s own film adaptation of The Spirit), Sin City looks and feels like nothing else. It’s a singularly brutal and gripping crime anthology experience. Which means it could be a perfect fit for the 21st century’s new golden age of TV. Not only that, but it turned Jessica Alba from minor curiosity to bona fide star. You might recall this scene.
Producer Stephen L'Heureux (who worked on A Dame to Kill For) is overseeing development on a Sin City TV series written by Glen Mazzarra (The Walking Dead) with a pilot directed by Len Wiseman (Underworld), according to Deadline. Miller is also onboard as a producer on the series, which is described as a “far departure” from the films that will introduce new characters and storylines into the titular crime-infested metropolis.
This news is not all that surprising in a time when crime anthologies like True Detective, Fargo and American Crime Story keep bringing ratings and trophies to cable networks. Like Fargo before it, a Sin City series will have built-in brand recognition and its own legion of devoted fans. It will also have a certain appeal to various actors, directors and writers eager to finally get their hands on a Frank Miller property. A Dame to Kill For, The Spirit and recent comics work like Holy Terror aside, the man is still the Patron Saint of Gritty Comic Books.
Sin City shouldn’t have any real trouble landing a network. The big question is what happens after that. A Dame to Kill For couldn’t recapture the same power of the first film and it was working with the same creative team and much of the same cast. How will a new team rekindle that spark? Departing from the films is a good start but what’s next?
With any luck, a great cast, great writers and great new stories with an emphasis on new. Sin City as a location is ripe for all manner of seedy storylines fans have never seen before woven into the overall fabric of what Miller started. Leaning too much on the source stories could doom the show. Using Miller’s concept to create something we’ve never seen before? Well, Fargo did it. Maybe lightning will strike twice.