From Daredevil and Jessica Jones to The Umbrella Academy, Netflix has adapted a wide range of comic book properties into live-action original series. Even though the streaming giant won't be making any more Marvel shows for the foreseeable future, it still has a number of comic book-based shows in development including Warrior Nun.
Based on Ben Dunn's '90s comic Warrior Nun Areala, the live-action Netflix series is set to bring the independent comic back to prominence for the first time in years. Now, CBR is taking a look at everything you need to know about the comic and the upcoming Netflix series.
WHAT IS WARRIOR NUN AREALA?
Warrior Nun Areala was created by Ben Dunn in 1994. The series follows Sister Shannon Masters, a Warrior Nun of the magical Order of the Cruciform Sword, a fictional branch of the Roman Catholic Church. With manga-inspired art and storytelling, the series, which saw Masters become the avatar of the Catholic Valkyrie Arela, was released during the "bad girl" era of comics, and the series both rejected and embraced aspects of that trend. Until the Anarctic Press series faded away in the early 2000s, it was one of the few mainstream comics to openly and regularly deal with religion with some degree of seriousness.
The series earned criticism from all corners. Some Catholics believed that it was appropriating their traditions, rituals, symbols and iconography and depicting them in an ultra-violent and hyper-sexualized context. On the other hand, critics of the Catholic Church thought that Warrior Nun Areala was too unabashedly optimistic about Catholicism’s positive influence in the world.
WHAT IS NETFLIX'S WARRIOR NUN ABOUT?
The 10-episode first season of Netflix's series, simply titled Warrior Nun, will be showrun by Simon Barry and filmed throughout Spain, in many of the same are used for Dorne in Game of Thrones. The series will follow a woman named Ava instead of Shannon, who wakes up in a morgue with no recollection of how she got there.
After bullets start flying, Ava finds herself with a halo, a divine weapon that's a powerful tool against evil, lodged in her back. While the Catholic Church wants her to join the Order of the Cruciform Sword to fight in their secret cold war against Hell, Ava, who died as an abused orphan, is tasting freedom and wants to experience everything that she missed the first time around.
Shortly before filming began, Barry spoke in March 2019 at a panel in Málaga, Spain’s Freakcon. He addressed fans of the original comic books series when he argued that film is not the same medium as a comic and that although there will be references, scenes and dialogue taken directly from the source material, many other elements would be impossible to recreate in the series.
“We will be using the mythology of this universe to tell our story," Barry said in a report from the Spanish-language film site Filmand. "It’s like Star Wars; there are many stories in that universe, but you don’t have to tell all of them.”
With so much mythology to draw from: from the Nordic sagas to the Crusades, to the cyberpunk, post-religion future, to basically every vision of Hell ever depicted in fiction, Warrior Nun could cover all sorts of ground. However, Barry said that the show will not carry on the comic's "bad girl" era aesthetics.
“It’s 2019 and women cannot be represented this way." he said."To me, the best way of representing (them) is to find their power in this society and to empower them in the largest patriarchal system that we know.”
WHO'S IN NETFLIX'S WARRIOR NUN?
Warrior Nun stars Portugese actor Alba Baptista as the show's titular hero, Ava. Toya Turner will play Shotgun Mary, another demon hunter with a chip of her shoulder, per Netflix's official description. Kristina Tonteri-Young will portray Sister Beatrice, the group's reserved resident mastermind, and Lorena Andrea will portray the entitled Sister Lilith.
Tristán Ulloa will portray Father Vincent, the disarming leader of the Order of the Cruciform Sword with a history of poor decision-making. Sylvia De Fanti (Empire, Medici) will play Mother Superion, the mentor of Ava and the titular Warrior Nuns. Thekla Reuten will play Jillian Salvius, a tech CEO who gets in the Vatican's crossharis. Finally, Emilio Sakraya will play JC, a charming criminal who's leading a group of thieves all around Europe with grand ambitions.
Netflix has not yet set a release date for Warrior Nun.