IDW Entertainment panel previews upcoming TV slate. IDW has made a name for itself as a license comic publisher. As of this year’s New York Comic Con, however, they expect to become as well known for producing their own television programs. Publishing CEO, Ted Adams, introduced David Ozer, Rick Jacobs, and JT Perry – our panel for the walk-through – and offered up their first entry.
A comic series originally pegged for a film treatment, with Jessica Simpson as its star, it had been dormant for some time (hence, no one in the audience owned up to ever having heard of it), after Simpson pulled out (thank you, Dukes of Hazard). Being reimagined as a more in-depth series, however, may turn out to be a much better fit for the concept (no, really, thank you Dukes of Hazard). Described as Buffy the Vampire Slayer meets Deadwood, the basic idea is that every generation, the eldest descendant of Wyatt Earp gets to face some of the meanest characters he ever put down. The family is cursed, and they just keep gunning for his bloodline. Luckily, Doc Holiday (Tim Rozon) got a piece of that curse action, and becomes available to the next in line: Wynonna (Melanie Scrofano). With a charmed six-shooter, Doc’s help, and a lot of bad, to put to good use, Wynonna actually makes U.S. Marshal. With the villain revealed to be another source character, no one else qualifies. The series – which, based on the trailer, seems more reminiscent of Supernatural’s earlier arcs, and more Faith, than Buffy, to its lead – is headed for SYFY sometime next year.
Somehow, JT Perry witnessing his child’s birth inspired the thought of Werewolves living a practical existence in NYC. Make of that what you will. The fully formed idea could be summarized as Werewolf “social services,” as it centers on a group that tends to the needs of fully formed Werewolf community, inside Brooklyn (hence the title). If it turns out I was the only one thinking dramatic Ugly Americans: shame on me; but it has stuck with me. We were assured it will not just be following the current Werewolf fad, the Lycans, themselves will be more akin to the American Werewolf in London model (than, say, Bitten, or Teen Wolf), and as much time will be spent exploring how this thankless job affects the Human cast, as a secret society, on the verge of war, will be carried by its ‘extra’ Human cast. Stephen Graham (Boardwalk Empire), Jane Alexander (The Blacklist), and James Callis (Battlestar Galactica) will star, with Brian Kirk (Game of Thrones) & David S. Goyer (Batman v Superman) contributing directing & writing talent, and source creator, JT Perry, as overall showrunner. It is headed to USA next fall.
After a brief stop-over, by TMNT co-creator, Kevin Eastman (briefly discussing non-Turtle IDW projects, like post-apocalyptic Lost Angeles, with Simon Bisley), who expressed a lot of love for the brand, it was back to the line-up.
Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency
Ted Adams proudly announced IDW’s securing of the rights to Douglas Adams (no relation) character, Dirk Gently, for comic/ TV adaptation. If you know Douglas Adams’ work, you may get some idea of what to expect of a creation like Dirk Gently. If you don’t, then I offer this: his is a reality bending presence. The panel offered the notion that he can solve crimes just by being at the scene, since things just happen around him, because of him. IDW is currently in collaboration with BBC America (with an assist from AMC) with a late 2016 series release in mind.
Having evolved from an anthology prose series to a comic, V Wars follows the events of a slowly escalating conflict, between Humans & Humans-turned-predators, by way of a triggered gene. I figure Marvel’s X-factor; but activating Vampires, instead of Mutants (that, and Pandorum comes to mind). Tim Schlattmann (Dexter, Under the Dome) has been tapped for writing duties on the TV series, while other platforms are also in development.
Based on Wormwood: Gentleman Corpse, by Ben Templesmith, this will be an animated series. The source material is a blend of horror & humor, centered on pan-dimensional demigod, which also happens to be a worm. Wormwood frequently averts apocalyptic disasters, using the corpses of dapper upper crust types (gentleman corpses); but usually by indirect, cunning means. Sounds like a good fit for [adult swim]; especially since David Stern (Ugly Americans, The Simpsons) is attached to write, while George Lopez will provide voice talent.
There was also a late mention of Cobb, from the creator of Wynonna Earp. Not much detail was offered, other than it being described as realistic Secret Service conspiracy series.
IDW is confident that it can expand its brand across multiple media; but that brand recognition comes with certain expectations. Fans have come to associate the outfit with popular franchises like G.I. Joe, Transformers, and Ghostbusters; so it should have surprised no one that a lot of panel directed questions were about adapting licensed properties. The double-edged sword of licensing may defeat the purpose, of IDW Entertainment being in the business of self-production; so don’t expect them to bring every fan-fav IDW comic to the small screen, under their direct supervision.
They did promise to push the boundaries of basic cable, however, as IDW will retain control of the properties (mostly), with the various networks only airing them (maybe with a little creative input, here or there). IDW insists that all projects that go into development will be made. How far their finished products get, however, will be determined by what viewers make of what they’ve made.
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