“This, to me, is exactly what Comic-Con’s all about," said the panel's moderator, Dominic Patten, a big fan of the 2014 comic book by Rick Remender and Wes Craig.
The series is set in the late '80s and follows Marcus Lopez, a young man from the streets, who attends a prep school for assassins, King's Dominion; these halls of learning are led by Master Lin. Marcus' fellow peers are the children of criminals like mob bosses and yakuza leaders, whose daily routines involve precise and premeditated homicide.
Both Remender and Craig were present at the Comic-Con panel, as were showrunners Miles Orion Feldsott and Mick Betancourt, and cast members Benjamin Wadsworth (Marcus), Benedict Wong (Master Lin), Lana Condor (Saya Kuroki), María Gabriela De Faría (Maria Salazar), and Luke Tennie (Willie Lewis).
The panel started off with a quick message from the Russos, who apologized for their absence but voiced their love of the comic and passion for bringing the project to television. Anthony explained that they're not there because they're working on "a little movie" called "Avengers...", and before he could let the title slip, his words were hilariously bleeped out.
Following the brothers, the audience was treated to the first 13 minutes of the first episode. The video, taking place in 1987, begins with Lin lecturing about when to strike, using Gavrilo Princip's assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, which kicked off World War I, as an analogy. In a striking moment, he hits one of the students trying to pass a note with his cane, straight to their nose. Marcus, a new student, has yet to gain the friendship of his peers. Then time pedals back to the day before, when Marcus, just a no-name homeless fugitive, is recruited by Lin and his students.
A particularly stand-out moment involves President Ronald Reagan telling Marcus that the still-lit joint he's picked off the ground was laced with Angel Dust in a great callback to Nancy Reagan's "Just Say No" initiative. Beautifully shot, packed with amazingly choreographed action, and reminiscent of Wanted, Kingsman, and Stranger Things, Deadly Class is a show you definitely won't want to miss. Plus, it doesn't hold back on graphic language or images.
"It's faithful in the perfect way," Craig said, adding that he doesn't want a Sin City-esque adaptation that would literally recreate his panels and drawings. "I don't want a literal translation."
"I think our job is not to do direct adaptation, pure and simple," Joe Russo told Deadline. "So, in Deadly Class, you’ll see that it does correlate more closely to the books than some, but it’s impossible to take something that works on a page, in a comic book panel, and translate that exactly to television. You see that all the time with our Marvel work too."
Watch the new trailer below, which debuted at the end of the panel:
There is currently no scheduled air date for Deadly Class, but check back with SYFY WIRE for regular updates on the new series. What we do know is that it'll arrive sometime next year. Will you be watching?
Click here for SYFY WIRE's full coverage of SDCC 2018, including up-to-the-minute news, exclusive interviews, and videos.