Comic-Con doesn’t officially open until tomorrow, but the soon-to-be packed San Diego confab will be buzzing with this news. The Walking Dead EP Gale Anne Hurd, one of the queens of the geekfest, is partnering with Warren Ellis, one of the biggest names in comics, for the latter’s first leap into the world of TV. In a deal signed with Universal Cable Productions, the as-yet-untitled Ellis project will be produced with Hurd’s Valhalla Entertainment. “I’ve been strongly drawn to television over the last few years, and working with brilliant and determined collaborators like Gale and the UCP team, I’m delighted at the opportunity to add my voice to the new, novelistic TV form that’s evolved so dramatically,” said the Iron Man: Extremis, Gun Machine and Red author today. Added Hurd: “There are very few writers who have been able to so completely influence a medium as Warren has with comic books.”
Although Ellis won’t be at Comic-Con this year, Hurd will appear again in the cavernous Hall H for the always-packed Walking Dead panel featuring AMC’s zombie apocalypse blockbuster. This year’s panel is set for Friday at 12:20 PM and will feature co-creator Robert Kirkman, cast members Andrew Lincoln and Norman Reedus and others.
The team-up of Hurd and Ellis wasn’t the only Comic-Con-related news UCP had today. The NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment unit has also optioned Night Mary for development as a live-action TV series. The company will work with IDW Entertainment on the Rick Remender- and Kieron Dwyer-created horror comic from IDW Publishing about a trained dreamer on the trail of a potential serial killer.
Additionally UCP picked up an option on the ghostly literary 1930s-based Five Ghosts to make it into a TV series. Created by Frank Barbiere and Chris Mooneyham and funded on Kickstarter, the original Five Ghosts actually debuted at Comic-Con 2012. UCP optioned TV rights from Black Mask Studios with Snow White And The Huntsmen and Divergent’s Evan Daugherty to pen the pilot and serve as EP. Benderspink’s Chris Bender and Jake Weiner will also be EPs on the project. Jake Wagner will serve as producer and Matt Pizzolo and Brett Gurewitz are co-EPs.