Christopher C. Rogers on How ‘Paper Girls’ Is a Spiritual Heir to ‘Halt and Catch Fire’ – NBCNEWS

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Brian K. Vaughanhas a lot of experience bringing his comedic creations to the screen with shows like runaways and the underrated Y: The Last Man series. Now he’s bringing all that know-how and experience into a new show, Prime Video’s edit of Paper Girls.

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It focuses on Tiff (Camryn Jones), Erin (Riley Lai Nelet), Mac (Sofia Rosinsky), and KJ (Fina Strazza), four newspaper girls who lived in Stony Stream in the 1980s. Their story begins on November 1, 1988, Hell Day to be exact. On the day after Halloween, things can get quite rowdy in the wee hours of the morning, so the girls aren’t too surprised to see local bullies. But they certainly don’t expect that meeting to end with a time travel to 2019.

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Vaughan, show runner Christopher C. Rogers and Cliff Chiang who illustrated the Paper Girls comic and now serves as the executive producer of the series, all of which were created by the Collider interview studio at San Diego Comic-Con to tell us a little about how their past experiences influenced their work on the Paper Girls series. Vaughan began:

“With every show I’ve learned that you have to find the right people and then you have to trust them, and you have to let them know, ‘We don’t want the karaoke version of our book. We don’t want you doing beat for beat what we’ve already done. Cliff and I have put so much of ourselves into this book, we want you to put some of yourself into it too.” And that goes for every adaptation I’ve worked on.”

Vaughan clearly knows what he’s doing at this point, but there’s a very unique element of it… Paper Girls that is not only new for him, but also something unusual for the industry in general. He continued:

“I think the new thing here is to work with these young artists. Part of the reason we made the comic is that it’s really hard to do film and television with 12 year old people, so we can do it as a comic, but if it ever becomes a show, they’ll get 16 , 17 years old. They’re going to age them. And the fact that they’ve been able to find these extraordinary young people who fully embody our characters and are so incredibly talented, that’s not just something new to me. I think that’s something new for television.”

RELATED: Meet the Stars of Prime Video’s ‘Paper Girls’ Series

As for Rogers, it’s been a long time since his last showrunning appearance ended. Before Paper GirlsRogers and Christopher Cantwell both served as showrunners in the standout series, Stop and catch fire. When you make a show That well, you should expect show runs to pour in after the AMC series wraps up in late 2017. While the pair has been working on some other stuff in between, like co-executive producing Lodge 49there was a five-year gap between show running Stop and catch fire and Paper Girls. Why the wait? Rogers explained:

“Halt and Catch Fire was one such special show that was six years of my life. I did it with Chris Cantwell, my best friend. And the truth is, a lot of things have to come together for a show to take place. Our hearts broke a few times after Halt and it wasn’t until Paper Girls came along that the right thing took shape again that we could really relate to. I think in a way this is the spiritual heir to the stuff we played with in that series. It certainly starts in the 80s too, but it’s great to be able to break new ground with some of the lessons we learned from that show, so it’s been great to stretch our wings.”

As much as we’d like screen edits to honor their source material, as did Vaughan, Chiang also stressed the importance of seeing Rogers and the team take what they’ve made and make it their own:

“It’s like the whole project has the same heart and feeling that we put into the comic book and I’m so grateful for that. The writers, the whole team and the actresses, I really think they’ve accepted the story, really assimilated it and want to put out some kind of new version of it that’s expanded and, in many ways, just an incredible new vision for it.

All eight episodes of Paper Girls Season 1 is available to stream on Prime Video. If you’ve already done the binge and are looking for updates to season 2, Rogers can’t reveal details, but he did emphasize that if given the chance, they’ll know where they want to go in a second season:

“I think it’s that, holding on loosely but not letting go. We know some places we’d love to get, but we’re open to better ideas that win. We definitely have a direction planned for a second season and I hope the gods smile at us and we can do it.”

Looking for more from Vaughn, Chiang and Rogers? Paper Girls? Be sure to watch our full SDCC 2022 talk in the video interview at the top of this article!

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