As anyone who ever tuned into one of his television shows or opened his books will tell you, Anthony Bourdain’s talents extended far beyond the kitchen. In the modern era of foodie celebrity, we take it for granted that every chef can step out from behind the stove, charm a TV audience for an hour, and then scurry back into the kitchen to perfectly prepare a lucky punter’s dinner. Such a collection of abilities is not just unusual, but almost unbelievable.
So singular was the late, great Tony Bourdain that the discovery of yet another secret skill doesn’t cause us to bat an eye. Anyone else who could write bestselling prose and run one of the most successful kitchens in New York would be worthy of serious scientific study - Bourdain carried it all off with little more than a lanky shrug. It says a lot about the man that the natural reaction to the news that his graphic novel series is about to be turned into a series for Netflix isn’t utter amazement, but a blase, “Yeah, obvs.”
Following the publication of Bourdain’s highly regarded graphic novel “Hungry Ghosts” late last year, it has now been revealed that the streaming platform have given the go-ahead for an animated series based on the work. Building on the source materials themes of violence, horror and food, the new show promises to be a must-see for any macabre cooking fan.
According to reports, the project is being helmed by Sony Pictures Animation. Fresh off their hugely successful “Spiderman: Into The Spiderverse”, the studio announced the production as part of their new slate of films for 2019, which also included a new version of “The Boondocks” and comedy “Superbago”. However, it is the Hungry Ghosts announcement that will get food fans’ mouths watering.
Building on the storied Chinese tradition of ravenous, implacable ancestors, the graphic novel is an ultra violent voyage through the seedy underside of the cooking industry, complete with gangsters, the undead, blood and guts. Much like most things Bourdain liked to discuss, the comic was decidedly not for children. By all accounts, the new show is expected to follow the same route.
Unfortunately for eager fans, other than confirmation that the project is actually happening, there has as of yet been no official word on when the production might be released. This puts a spanner in the works for anyone planning an imminent binge. At least for the time being, viewers will have to content themselves with several seasons of “Parts Unknown”. There are certainly worse ways to spend your time.