Knowledge Waits is a feature where I just share some bit of comic book history that interests me.
With the news that a “New Warriors” TV series has been ordered by Freeform, I thought I’d look at a fascinating piece of comic book history that I once featured as a comic legend, namely how Night Thrasher almost had his own TV show!
Yes, back in 2002, the short-lived broadcast channel, the UPN, signed a deal with Marvel for a pilot for a series starring the man who put the New Warriors together for the first time, Night Thrasher!
A few years before he became the head of NBC Entertainment, Ben Silverman was going to executive produce the series. It was also going to be executive produced by the writer of the pilot, Michael Elliot, who had just recently (at the time) written the 2002 film, “Brown Sugar,” a romantic comedy starring Taye Diggs and Sanaa Lathan.
Of course, though, this being the early 2000s and not the modern era of “sort of respecting your source material,” the concept behind the show was that Dwayne Taylor was a “25-year-old multimillionaire owner of a hot hip-hop clothing line, enjoying the high life with a penthouse apartment overlooking New York’s Central Park. But he also lends his superhero services to the CIA, having been recruited by his CIA agent uncle, who raised him.”
Elliot called him a “a hip-hop version of James Bond.” He also explained that Night Thrasher was “an opportunity to create a superhero for today’s generation — one like looks like them, talks like them, likes the same kind of music.”
Sadly, the project never came to fruition and within a few years, the UPN was shuttered completely as it basically merged with the WB to form the CW, fully killing the project (if it had not already been squelched before that point).
Now obviously, the concept had little to do with the “New Warriors” version of Night Thrasher, to the point where you would have to wonder how they would even work the title into the show (maybe he still had a skateboard?), but it still sounds like it might have been interesting. I’d have liked to at least seen a pilot of the show.