Frank Miller’s ‘Sin City’ TV Show in the Works: Why Fans Shouldn’t Get Too Excited Just Yet

Just as comic book movies continue to dominate the box office, television is beginning to follow suit. The CW has been overrun by DC Comics for years, and of course, this year saw the debut of HBO’s Watchmen. Now another notable property — Frank Miller’s Sin City — is heading to the small screen.

Miller’s pulpy noir-inspired graphic novels were previously adapted into films in 2005 and 2014. Both movies were co-directed by Miller and Robert Rodriguez (Alita: Battle Angel), though the latter was a box office flop. While Sin City fans might be excited for more, here’s why they shouldn’t get their hopes up just yet.

Frank Miller at the UK Premiere of 'Sin City'
Frank Miller at the UK Premiere of ‘Sin City’ | Dave Hogan/Getty Images

A ‘Sin City’ TV show is on the way

According to Deadline, Miller has finalized a deal with Legendary Television for the Sin City TV series. The contract grants the show a first season, provided it gets set up at a network or streaming service. The project would be a “hard-R animated series” serving as a prequel to Miller’s graphic novels.

Setting the TV version of Sin City earlier would allow Miller to play with the many characters who meet their ends over the course of his stories. However, in a way, the world of Sin City going animated feels like a bit of a step back. After all, what made Miller and Rodriguez’s 2005 film such a success is its distinctive visual style.

An animated take may be easier to produce, but it might not capture audiences’ imagination in the same way. Considering the level of investment involved in television these days, it feels like a missed opportunity not to shoot for a live-action anthology series more closely matching the films.

Robert Rodriguez is still not onboard (yet)

Although Miller is the mastermind behind Sin City, he’s only half of the team that brought the property to the mainstream. Thankfully, reports indicate Robert Rodriguez is currently being courted to join the project. Presumably, the director would executive produce alongside Miller.

Although 2014’s Sin City: A Dame to Kill For underwhelmed, Rodriguez still feels like a necessary ingredient for a Sin City TV series. While Miller’s comics have been the basis for movies like 300, his only solo directorial credit is the disastrous 2008 film The Spirit. Granted, Sin City is his baby. But the series is bound to feel more akin to the films with Rodriguez steering the ship with him.

After all, Rodriguez already has experience bringing his films to television. In 2014, he developed his own 1996 film From Dusk Till Dawn into a series for his El Rey network. Then, in 2018, he launched a children’s animated show based on his Spy Kids films for Netflix.

Does Frank Miller have more stories to tell?

Perhaps the biggest reason why fans should be skeptical about the prospect of a Sin City TV series is the question of whether Miller has any great stories left to tell. The comics are so closely aligned with his sensibility that another writer may have difficulty stepping into his shoes. Miller himself wrote some original stories for A Dame to Kill For, and even those largely fell flat.

While not impossible, a Sin City series might be able to find a way to play in the world Miller created. Several of his graphic novels — including Hell and Back — have yet to be adapted. So the series could start there.

But a Sin City series at this point hardly feels like the slam dunk it might have been soon after the original movie landed. We’ll see how it all pans out soon enough. Hopefully, Miller and Rodriguez can find a way to breathe new life into Sin City.