Universal Cable Productions is getting into business with the comic book company behind such titles as Hellboy, The Mask and R.I.P.D. Just a couple of days before this year’s Comic-Con kicks off, UCP has signed a first-look deal with Dark Horse Entertainment. The new agreement will focus on developing and producing scripted programming from Dark Horse’s comic book library as well as new material. Not wasting anytime, the companies already have four projects in development.
The deal’s genesis came at last year’s big San Diego confab, when Dark Horse introduced UCP executives to some of its top writers and artists. Those conversations continued during the past year and yielded multiple TV projects with direct involvement from the comics creators, UCP said.
“Dark Horse Entertainment has an incredible roster of fantastical, witty and mind-bending stories,” says Dawn Olmstead, EVP Development at NBCUniversal’s UCP. “Their brand has conquered multiple media platforms and boasts iconic books that have attracted the highest level of writers. It’s going to be a wild and imaginative ride.”
Said Dark Horse founder and president Mike Richardson, who exec produces Syfy’s Dark Places with Dark Horse SVP Production Keith Goldberg: “As the landscape of narrative storytelling evolves, Dark Horse is thrilled to be working in the golden age of television with Universal Cable Productions. Their creative team has embraced the spirit of the Dark Horse brand.”
Here are the UCP-Dark Horse projects in development:
Harrow County: Emmy has always known that the deep, dark woods surrounding her home crawled with ghosts, goblins, and the restless dead. On the eve of her 18th birthday, she learns that she is connected to these creatures and to the land itself in a way she never imagined, for she is the reincarnation of a powerful witch who was put to death on the very day Emmy was born. For this reason, the townsfolk mean to kill her too. In order to survive, Emmy must embrace the unusual powers at her command. This project is based on the new book written by Cullen Bunn (The Damned, The Sixth Gun) and illustrated by Tyler Crook (Bad Blood).
The Umbrella Academy: Nine years after parting ways, the estranged members of the Umbrella Academy, a dysfunctional family of superheroes with bizarre powers, must figure out how to work together to save the world. It’s created by Gerard Way (lead singer of My Chemical Romance and writer of The True Lies of the Fabulous Killjoys) and Gabriel Ba (Daytripper). Bluegrass films is also attached to executive produce.
Back Up: In the near future, a new technology allows people to be backed up the same way we now back up our computers — but instead of protecting against drive failure, these backups protect against death. This project is based on a feature script by Tom Vaughn. Kenny Golde is set to write and executive produce, Brad Anderson (Zoo, Almost Human) is in negotiations to direct. Jim Wedaa is also attached to executive produce.
Concrete: After his subconscious is transplanted into a hulking stone body, Ronald Lithgow must come to terms with his new form and try to live a normal life. This Eisner Award-winning title is the opus of comics legend Paul Chadwick.