Hench in development for the small screen

NBC is developing a new serial based on the cult classic 2004 graphic novel by Adam Beechen and Manny Bello.

Hench tells the story of a regular guy, Mike, a family man and former football star with few prospects, who decides to take up a career in the seemingly lucrative field of henching for supervillains.

In a world with super heroes and supervillains, the story is told from the point of view of the normal citizen who gets a front-row seat to the craziness. Finding himself surrounded by insanity, Mike is surprised to discover one day that the fate of the world is in his incapable hands.

The tale is intended, in part, to give some possible explanation of just how one comes to be working for a supervillain, and just what kind of guy would take that kind of job, a question every comics reader has asked themselves once in a while.

The television serial adaptation was pitched by Studio 44 and Universal TV, and the pilot was written by Alexandria Cunningham. Cunninghamm and Studio 44 also worked together recently on an American adaptation of the British hit Prime Suspect.

It’s being described by the studio as a “high-concept drama,” which seems a bit odd considering the source material. Hopefully, that doesn’t mean it will be too heavy-handed or take itself too seriously. That could ruin the adaptation pretty damn fast.

The pilot episode for Hench is already written, and the production is currently casting. If the project stays on schedule, the network will see the pilot in the spring, and potentially order the series for the Fall 2013 season.