The Crazy Concept Fan-Favorite Chew Comic That Needs An Adaptation

By Nick Venable | Published

Why did we never get a Chew adaptation? Is the universe just a cruel place? It seems like as many times as entertainment news overwhelms us with positive feelings, there is a bottomless vat of swirling disappointments just waiting to drown us in sorrow. This happens consistently when it comes to adaptations.

Either the projects fall through, or they end up leaving out your favorite part. There are almost too many examples to count over the years, which is amazing considering the sheer number of things that actually are adapted on the big and small screen.

The super-amazing surreal sci-fi action-packed comedic romp that is John Layman’s Chew had been in development at Showtime for some time, after being in limbo for a couple of years. And just when it seemed like it was picking up steam for an adaptation, the wheels ended up coming off.

Director Stephen Hopkins who had been on board for Showtime’s House of Lies, was the creative force behind the adaptation. With names attached and a network to boot, it sure seemed like Chew was going to find a home.

According to an interview in 2013 with the twistedly talented artist Rob Guillory, things were going pretty well. He said, “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. “

That was enough to get fans excited about the Chew adaptation. The comics are creeping into mega-cult territory, and somebody like FX or Netflix should have probably jumped all over this. But alas, no.

Lost‘s Ken Leung was in talks to play Tony Chu, the cibopath with the strange power of being able to “see” something’s history, from fried shrimp to fried people, just by tasting it. Meaning he gets psychic impressions from anything he eats, including people. This allows him to solve crimes by consuming evidence like corpses or other food items.

He works for the FDA in a world where eating chicken has been outlawed. That’s because Chew is set in a world where bird flu has killed millions, leading to a ban on chicken and the rise of a dangerous black market for poultry. As an FDA investigator, Chu uses his bizarre abilities to take down criminals in the food underworld. It’s just awesome.

It’s one of the craziest and most fulfilling books out there, and it deserves to be seen. Really, everything about the Chew comic should have lined up into an adaption, either animated or live-action. The writing is hilarious, there’s a chance for some real gross-outs, and the concept would still work today.