Perry Moore Talks HERO on Showtime and DAWN TREADER in Oz!
The author of HERO and producer of the Chronicles of Narnia, is eagerly awaiting word on whether HERO, his gay teen super hero story that’s won raves and awards, is going to get the greenlight from Showtime to go to pilot and series....
Perry Moore is on pins and needles.
The author of HERO and producer of the Chronicles of Narnia, is eagerly awaiting word on whether HERO, his gay teen super hero story that’s won raves and awards, is going to get the greenlight from Showtime to go to pilot and series.
At his invitation, I gave him a call to find out a little bit about the pending details of HERO, his hope for the series, and what we, as fans, can do to help get it on the air.
“This is the story I really want to tell for the next three, four or five years,” he said, his excitement leaping out of the iPhone. “If we get this to go, this will open eyes, touch hearts and reach everyone – gay people and straight people alike.”
Perry told me that HERO is one of three scripts currently being decided on by [Bob Greenblatt at Showtime. “Stan Lee and I pitched them and HBO, almost back to back, on a Friday. They both turned right around called on a Saturday, expressing interest in developing the series further. They were that interested.”
So why Showtime, I asked? “They were both excellent networks,” Moore replied. “For a variety of reasons, we took a leap with Showtime. They’re a daring and pioneering network – they did the American version of QUEER AS FOLK, after all. In the end, they seemed like the best fit to develop a HERO series with.”
Now usually, at this point, writers discuss the problems they had in developing a concept into a series. Development executives – the people tasked with shaping scripts to make sure they fit the vision of what a network wants – have a reputation of ruining work. Not so here.
“I couldn’t have been more pleased with the notes and feedback we got from them,” Perry said. “They were very enthusiastic; they wanted the story to succeed and to work over the multiple weeks required for a TV series. They really helped to make sure the mysteries of the story unfolded over time, the characters developed, and that the audience would feel what the characters’ felt. In the end, the pilot script turned out great. I’m really proud of it.”
I told him about fans being very interested in getting this show on the air, about how I’d heard from folks the pilot decision would happen this week or next, and how many fans had approached me on spreading the word.
“I’ve been amazed at the surge of support the idea of a HERO TV series has gotten,” Moore said. “Like me, people all over the place are sitting on pins and needles. I know people have been sending letters and calling the marketing department about seeing the show on the air. I’m touched by all of that.”
If we do get lucky, and the show hits the air, what is casting going to be like? People have their idea for who should play the various roles. I asked Perry who he had in mind for the various parts.
“For Thom’s dad? Dennis Quaid*...or Mel Gibson,” he said.
That last one caught me.
“I think he’s got that history — a hero and then a public fall — just like Thom’s dad. Dennis Hopper would also be great. He has that look about him.” I noted those are really archetypal males. “Ever since a kid, I’ve always had crushes on those rugged guy types,” Perry said with a laugh.
But what about Thom? The teen hero who comes into his own by accepting his sexuality and his super-powers in order to save the world? Who should play him?
“It has to be a fearless actor, known or unknown, for that role,” he said. “Thom is the kind of character that would really show off an actor’s acting abilities. A gay or bisexual actor would be great, but really, given what the role requires, regardless of orientation, it just has to be someone who is, well, a hero, too.”
Since I had him on the line, and since many of my friends would kill me if I didn’t, I had to ask him about the status of the latest Narnia movie, VOYAGE OF THE DAWNTREADER, production of which was unceremoniously dumped by Disney late last year. Walden and Fox teamed up to produce it. So when does it go?
“Fox and Walden gave us a start date in July, so we’ll be headed down to Australia to get that film going. You’ll be seeing Ben Barnes at the bow of Dawn Treader in no time.”
Be still my heart.
“Did you know I taught those kids to surf,” Moore offered. “William [Mosley, who played Peter] alread knew, but Hunter [Moore’s lover] and I taught the rest. Georgie [Henley, who plays Lucie] got right in there with the rest of them and did a great job.”
That made me remark that he sounded very close to all of the actors. “I am. I feel like their godfather. Ben [Barnes, who played Caspian]* came over and stayed with us here in New York. He joked that I lived on Seasme Street. It does feel like that.”
He was very touched by the “kids” — as he calls them — when, after an uncle he was very close to died, they gave him a shirt that read “Perry Poppins.” It expressed how close they felt to him.
I thanked Perry for his time, thanked him for his HERO and mentioned I’d do what we could here at doorQ.com to get people to call, email or send letters to Showtime and their marketing people about how much they’d love to see HERO on the screen. He thanked me and I started to click off when he said:
“Wait! You have to call Stan.”
“Yes, give him a call about the series. He’s so passionate about it, too.”
Okay, but I’m not sure I can keep my composure talking to him. He’s pretty much the definition of cool.
“He’s also been so wonderful in getting this project as far as it has. He’s got the energy of a man 30, 40 years younger than he is. Call him.”
So I did.
Tomorrow: I talk to Comics God Stan Lee
If you want to express your support for the series, write or give them a call at
Showtime Networks 1633 Broadway
New York, NY 10019 212-708-1600
*I got my future husbands confused... it was Quaid and Barnes. I’ve updated accordingly.