Ever since I started reading Brian K. Vaughn and Cliff Chiang’s Paper Girls, I was wondering why studios weren’t rushing to adapt it. It has a terrific hook where four teenage girls who work delivering papers are mysteriously transported to the future and stuck in between warring factions of time travelers. With all the love and attention heaped upon Stranger Things, which also has 80s kids as its protagonists in a sci-fi setting, I was surprised that no one was rushing to get to Paper Girls. But it appears Amazon knows what’s up.
Deadline reports that Amazon has given the project a series commitment. Legendary Television and Plan B are producing the show with Toy Story 4 co-writer Stephany Folsom penning the adaptation. Folsom is also serving as a consultant on Amazon’s upcoming Lord of the Rings series.
What makes Paper Girls such strong material is that, like most Vaughan books, it never loses sight of character despite outsized circumstances. The books (at least as far as I’ve read) haven’t gotten lost in the weeds of the time traveling conflict, and instead are focused more on these girls seeing who they become, what their fates are, if they can change the future, and their future selves looking back and wondering about the choices they’ve made.
That being said, adapting Vaughan’s work has proven to be a challenge. The adaptation of his breakthrough book, Y: The Last Man, is still lurching through production. It appeared to be on the fast-track at FX and they even shot a pilot, but then they changed up the showrunners, so it remains to be seen how that will affect the show. The biggest success thus far in adapting Vaughan’s work has been Runaways, which I personally didn’t care for (even though I love the books) but is popular enough that Hulu recently ordered a third season.