At the TCA’s: AMC Introduces Visionaries

A new series exploring the Visionaries of the origins of science fiction, comics, rap, and horror comes to the AMC channel. Eli Roth (Executive Producer), Robert Kirkman (Executive Producer) and James Cameron (Executive Producer – via satellite) were featured on the TCA panel to discuss their new series for AMC, Visionaries.

Eli Roth will present the history of horror, musician Questlove will present the history of rap, James Cameron will present science fiction, and Robert Kirkman explores the history of comic books.

Via satellite, executive producer James Cameron laid out what Visionaries is going to do explore. “We want to go back through all the way back to John W. Campbell, the pulps, the ’30s, and the sort of golden age of literary science fiction in the ’50s — ’40s and ’50s with authors like Ray Bradbury, Robert Heinlein and Arthur Clarke and people like that, the kind of grandmasters, and unfortunately, many of those have passed, but we still have a few with us, so we managed get some interviews with people like Samuel R. Delany and David Gerald, who wrote for “Star Trek” back in the ’60s, DC Fontana, another “Star Trek” writer.”

He continued, “And then, we’ll also be interviewing writers like Neal Stephenson and some contemporary grandmaster sci-fi writers about how they were influenced by not only the pop culture movies of — the B movies of the ’50s, but also those sci-fi  literature greats, and we’ll even take it all the way back to Wells and Verne and show where ideas like time travel, for example, came from.”

At the end of the day, the creators of Visionaries want to explore the origins of the pop culture iconography that propels so many projects today.

Robert Kirkman discussed how they were expanding into the underrepresented corners with focus on characters (and creators) of color, as well as women’s contribution to the industry for the comic book installments.

We’re doing an episode about the creation of Wonder Woman, which is credited to William Moulton Marston, but a lot of people don’t know that he had a polygamous relationship with two women, and those two women are actually very instrumental in the creation of Wonder Woman, and so we do kind of a deep dive into who they were as people and everything that inspired their lives and led to the creation of this character that is now this blockbuster movie that we’re seeing this summer.”

“We’re also doing another episode called “The Color of Comics” that kind of explores of history of black characters and the lack of black characters in the comic book industry, which touches on the creation of Black Panther, the Marvel character, and it does a really cool focus on this company from the ’90s called Milestone Comics that was founded by a group of African-American comic book creators to create characters that appeal to them and represented them, because there was a very huge lack of representation for them in comics even in the ’90s, and so, yeah, we’re doing both of those.”

Eli Roth, for his horror contribution, added, “You wouldn’t have horror without Mary Shelley and Frankenstein.”

AMC’s Visionaries will begin in 2018.