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Paper Girls TV Series - What We Know So Far

Fans of Brian K. Vaughan's Eisner-winning comic series Paper Girls rejoice: The badass damsels of delivery are officially set to ride for Amazon Studios.

Vaughan (SagaY: The Last ManEx Machina) and Paper Girls illustrator Cliff Chiang wrapped the Image Comics series' four-year run back in 2019 with a finale as mind-blowingly clever as it was achingly heartfelt. Almost as soon as the duo had placed the bow atop the pristine series, fans of the books started wondering when and how those books would find their way onto some kind of screen, big or small. 

The rights to adapt the books were snatched up last year by Legendary Television in partnership with Brad Pitt's production shingle Plan B (MoonlightThe Big ShortAd Astra, and many more). Since Plan B inked an exclusive deal with Amazon Studios, it's hardly a surprise the streaming player got first crack at bringing Paper Girls to life on screen. The good news is that Amazon brass announced via a press release that they've already given the adaptation a full series order, so Vaughan's Paper Girls will hopefully be able to avoid the frustrating series of false starts that have plagued the anxiously anticipated adaptation of his Y: The Last Man.

Even better news is that Vaughan (who's worked on lauded series like LostUnder the Dome, and Marvel's Runaways in the past) is joining the Paper Girls adaptation as Executive Producer, so there's every reason to believe the series will be as faithful an adaptation of his source material as possible. As for what that adaptation will look like, Amazon Studios has only just made things official, so there's not a ton of information out there yet. 

That being said, here's everything we no so far about the Paper Girls TV series. 

When will Paper Girls arrive on Amazon Prime?

As mentioned above, while the Paper Girls adaptation has been in development for a while now, the series has only recently gotten the official go sign from Amazon Studios. That means that Paper Girls is likely still in pre-production, which is generally too early to really start thinking about its Amazon Prime Video premiere date. The current state of the global pandemic only further complicates our ability to prognosticate a potential production timeline for the project.

We do have some encouraging signs that pre-production is proceeding on course, however. Amazon has had some early luck adding quality behind-the-camera players to the project. Toy Story 4 co-writer Stephany Folsom — after working as both a writer and consulting producer on Amazon's wildly ambitious Lord of the Rings series – has taken point penning the Paper Girls series, and is set to serve as both executive producer and showrunner on the adaptation of Vaughan's graphic novels.

We now also know that Folsom will be sharing showrunner responsibilities with Christopher Cantwell and Christopher C. Rogers, best known as the creative minds behind AMC's '80s tech drama Halt and Catch Fire. It sure sounds like Paper Girls fans can rest well knowing that the upcoming adaptation is in capable hands at this stage of production. We're genuinely hopeful said crew will be able to deliver the adaptation to Amazon streaming platforms sooner rather than later. 

Who will star in the Paper Girls series?

As Paper Girls is still in early stages of production, casting information remains a bit of a mystery, but with a full series order already in the bank and a crack team of talent lining up behind the camera, we'd expect to start hearing some casting news in the very near future. 

We'd also expect the four lead characters in Vaughan's time-hopping saga to be among the first cast for the project, because those characters will have a massive narrative load to carry throughout. The central characters from the comics are all tweenage girls, so don't be at all surprised if you're reading the casting announcements for the roles of the titular suburbanites, Erin, Mac, KJ, and Tiffany, and wondering who the heck they are; Amazon is incredibly likely to go with new talent.

Outside of those four central leads, there's opportunity for series creators to have some serious fun as Paper Girls features a marvelously colorful cast of characters from pasts, presents, and futures, including various iterations of the girls themselves at different stages of life. And yes, it should be an absolute blast to see not only how the series handles that challenge, but who they bring aboard for those parts.    

What is the plot of Paper Girls?

Paper Girls feels cut from a similar narrative cloth as Netflix's zeitgeisty Stranger Things, another dark, sci-fi coming-of-age story set in the '80s. That's not to say that Paper Girls is just Stranger Things with girls. While there are some definite similarities, we'd point out that: 1) Paper Girls made its print debut in 2015 — a full year before Stranger Things became a hit for Netflix — and 2) Paper Girls has a much harder core than the dew-eyed, '80s nostalgia trip that Stranger Things tends to be.

In fact, one of Vaughan's mission statements heading into the writing of Paper Girls was to avoid the sort of nostalgic '80s trappings, with the famed scribe telling Salon in 2019, "I remember a lot of aspects of that era fondly, but it also felt like, wow, there's a lot of fiction now about the 1980s that completely whitewashes a lot of the worst aspects of it."

One read through the pages of Paper Girls will confirm as much, with Vaughan pulling zero punches in depicting the uglier side of the '80s, not to mention the 2000s and beyond. His story also finds uncommon beauty, piercing authenticity, and humbling humanity in its exploration of time, friendship, and fate. As for the actual plot of Paper Girls, we'll say it opens in the pre-dawn hours of the day after Halloween in 1988, and eventually finds the four girls in question plunged unexpectedly into the middle of a time-hopping adventure, and a potentially world-ending conflict between warring factions from the future. 

We'd say more of Paper Girls' plot, but we wouldn't dream of ruining a single second of this breathtaking, surprise-a-minute saga for any of you. Just trust us that you won't want to miss this series when it finally arrives on Amazon.