Yesterday, THR revealed that Mark Sable’s terrorism thriller “Unthinkable” is being adapted for TV by “24” showrunner Howard Gordon. We reached out to Sable about his thoughts on the BOOM! miniseries coming to TV and why now is the right time for the unthinkable.
The hour-long drama will see a straitlaced FBI agent working alongside a washed-up screenwriter to prevent a terrorist scenario which the writer thought up alongside a multidisciplinary think tank for the U.S. government after 9/11–a scenario Sable points out is ripped from actual events: “After 9/11 the government really did put together a think tank of screenwriters and novelists trying to come up with worst case terrorist scenarios before the bad guys did.”
Sable says that when researching the series and “Graveyard of Empires” (published in 2011 at Image), he traveled to the Middle East and took a tour of the CIA headquarters, allowing the writer some insight into the attention to detail that shows that Howard Gordon has worked on previously like “24” and “Homeland.” “I can say with authority that ’Homeland’ is one of the best, most accurate espionage shows in the history of television,” Sable says of “Homeland,” and he trusts that the team assembled to bring “Unthinkable” to life with match the scope of artist Julian Totino Tedesco’s intricate action setpieces.
Explaining that the series might be going for a “Castle” vibe, Sable says you’ll be rooting for his hero, named Alan Ripley in the 2009 comic: “On the one hand he’s the perfect TV hero. Who better to stop a terrorist scenario than the guy who dreamed it up,” Sable points out when I ask about the appeal of the series.
When asked for comment on the announcement, Boom! CEO Ross Richie had nothing but praise for the series’ creator as well as the minds bringing “Unthinkable” to the small screen. “Mark Sable is one of the most talented comic book writers in the business and his creation ’Unthinkable’ has long been one of my favorite BOOM! comic books, along with the incomparable work of Julian Totino Tedesco,” Richie explained in an e-mail yesterday. He also singled out showrunner Howard Gordon, calling him “one of the greatest show runners in the business.” Indeed, Gordon’s had a hand in the creation of Showtime’s “Homeland” with work on “24,” “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “Angel,” and “The X-Files” on his resume.
Richie adds “[Producer] Ben Queen’s work on ’Drive’ and ’Cars 2’ has been a favorite of mine, we have been talking for years about finding something to work on. It’s really the dream team and we are very, very excited! And thrilled to be in such talented company.”
“In comics the artist is cinematographer and the actor, bringing the characters to life,” Sable adds.” “I’m most excited to see how whoever is cast interprets the characters I’ve created. I imagine it’s going to be that same feeling I get when I get pages from my artistic collaborators… which is by far the highlight of being a comics writer.”