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SYFY WIRE WonderCon 2019

WonderCon: Deadly Class cast dishes on nailing '80s setting and Kings Dominion's 'ticking clock'

By Ernie Estrella & Josh Weiss
Benjamin Wadsworth and Liam James in Deadly Class

With the first season of SYFY's Deadly Class all wrapped up, the cast descended on WonderCon to talk about what fans have seen as well as the show's future.

"I think there's a bit of a ticking time clock for this school," said Liam James, who plays  Billy Bennett, a punk rocker type with a green mohawk. His answer was in reference to where we might see the characters going forward. The "school" to which he refers is Kings Dominion, a secret academy for training assassins.

Based on the comic series by Rick Remender and Wesley Craig, the series is set in the late 1980s, the highly rebellious nature of the times being a perfect parallel to its central characters, who are the children of mobsters, murderers, and corrupt cops. As with an adaptation, there have to be some changes and/or artistic liberties. With Deadly Class, however, they stuck pretty closely to the popular source material.

"The big thing for us was to stick with the bones of comic and use that as our bible and not change things just to change things, just because we're doing a TV show," said EP/co-showrunner Miles Orion Feldsott. "I was already a fan of the book, originally when I signed on. It already felt cinematic. [The changes we made] were finding things to flesh out things like Billy and Petra because we have more real estate and seeing what happens when they spend more time together, that kind of stuff happened organically."

"I was surprised because comic fans can be so passionate, I'm a comic fan myself so whenever we don't see an adaptation of something that's not at least similar to the original, we get pissy. These guys (putting his arm around Feldsott) stayed so close to the comics and I think the fans appreciated that," added Benjamin Wadsworth, who plays the central character of Marcus Lopez Arguello.

Deadly Class WonderCon

When it came to nailing the period setting, things went off without a hitch, particularly since Remember (also co-showrunner) grew up during the later Reagan years.

"A lot of the work gets done for you, when you have someone who cares and the first person who cared about telling this story was Rick Remender. He's the one who most of these characters are based off of," James went on. "He was the punk skater rat in 1987 at that age. Getting to know him and having him around was extremely beneficial. When Rick decides to have fun and write this, it gives you permission to have fun. When someone tells you to be yourself, that was a real gift to be able to bring myself versus having to bringing the punk part to the role."

Deadly Class (produced by Avengers: Endgame's Russo Brothers) has yet to be renewed for a second season, but based on the outpouring of positive feedback on social media, that outcome seems very likely.