SDCC: Vaughan and Staples Dish on Saga Film, Paul Thomas Anderson and Diversity

Books Features Paul Thomas Anderson

Will we ever see a movie based on Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples’ epic sci-fi fantasy series, Saga? The Image Comics series picked up three Eisner Awards (aka the Oscars of Comics) Friday night at Comic-Con International: San Diego, with Staples nabbing “Best Painter/Multimedia Artist,” Vaughan taking “Best Writer” and the team receiving “Best Continuing Series.” In a jam-packed panel on Saturday, the pair took questions from fans, including one about Vaughan’s thoughts on a Saga movie and film in general.

In the early days of writing Saga, the scribe had sworn off the idea of a film adaptation. Plans for an adaptation of his oft-praised series Y: The Last Man, published through DC Entertainment’s imprint Vertigo, had already given the accomplished screenwriter, showrunner and comic icon pause for thought.

“I had been working in the film,” Vaughan said, “and the more I worked in it, the more I realized comics are vastly superior. A lot of comics I read felt like so many spec screenplays. I told Fiona, ‘Look, if they ever make us an offer we can’t refuse, I wouldn’t say no.’ If Paul Thomas Anderson wanted to make a movie? Aight.”

With issue #21 debuting last week, Saga’s been a darling for its treatment of science fiction and fantasy archetypes, à la Star Wars and Harry Potter. At its core, we see robots and magic colliding across the universe — whether in bed or on a battlefield.

“I’ve been thinking about this universe since I was a kid,” Vaughan said at the panel. “When I was bored in math class, I would escape to this universe. I know too many details — a disturbing amount. A lot of it has changed because, in my head, all the people on Wreath and all the people on Landfall looked the same, because I have no imagination. Fiona transformed it into something completely different.”

The first few issues of the series opened a universe of diverse characters, complete with a sexy horned-and-winged pair of star-crossed lovers, a spidery assassin and, oh, Lying Cat.

“When I was pitching it to Fiona,” Vaughan explained, “I said, ‘No redheads, there are lots of redheads in comics.’”

Staples continued, “Representation and diversity of color are important to me. I also think it makes a more real, human universe.”

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