In competitive situation with multiple bidders, Michael London’s Groundswell Productions (The Magicians) has optioned the Black Magick comic book series from New York Times bestselling and Eisner Award-winning author Greg Rucka and illustrator Nicola Scott for TV series development. The comic, a gritty thriller about witchcraft and crime, will be packaged as an hourlong cable drama.
The series’ main character, Rowan Black, is a robbery-homicide detective in the fictional port city of Portsmouth, USA, itself a cauldron of occult mystery. She is also the latest in a long line of witches stretching back for millennia. For years, Rowan has struggled to keep a balance between her two lives, but the past is finally catching up to her. Peculiar and mysterious murders draw Rowan into an investigation where the lines between her two lives continue to erode, where she is left with no choice but to harness her powers to not only save the people she loves, but to preserve a future for all humanity.
“Greg and Nicola have created an indelible small town character and put her at the center of a gripping mystery driven by a fresh take on the mythology of witchcraft,” said London. “Our plan is to find a world class creator who can realize their vision for series and then take it to the cable and streaming networks.”
“We had a lot of attention and some very difficult choices to make when it came to finding Black Magick a home,” Rucka said. “Ultimately, Michael and Groundswell took the day with a passion and sincerity that certainly make Nic and I feel that Rowan is in very good hands.”
This isn’t Rucka’s first comic book series to get TV series treatment. His comic series Lazarus, illustrated by Michael Lark, is being developed for Legendary TV with Matt Tolmach, and Rucka writing the pilot. In addition, his novel and comic book series Queen & Country is set up at Fox with Jenno Topping producing and Ellen Page attached to star. Rucka also served as an executive producer on the movie Whiteout, starring Kate Beckinsale, based on the award-winning comic book series of the same name and drawn by Steve Lieber.
Scott is a former actor turned comic book artist based who has worked for Image, Dark Horse and DC Comics on titles such as Wonder Woman, Teen Titans and Superman.
Groundswell is in production on the second season of The Magicians for SyFy and the first season of Chance starring Hugh Laurie for Hulu. It begins production next month on Snowfall for FX with Belgian directors Adil El Arbi & Bilall Fallah (Black) directing from a script by Dave Andron, John Singleton, and Eric Amadio. Groundswell recently received an Emmy nomination for Confirmation for HBO.
Groundswell and London’s film credits include Trumbo, Milk, Win Win, The Visitor, Sideways, The Family Stone, The Illusionist and thirteen. They are currently in post-production on Birth of the Dragon, directed by George Nolfi.
The deal was negotiated for Rucka by Angela Cheng Caplan of Cheng Caplan Company, David Hale Smith of InkWell Management, and Allison Binder of Stone, Genow, Smelkinson, Binder, & Christopher LLP.
London was repped by WME and Michael Schenkman and Greg Slewett of Bloom Hergott.