Written by Michael Armbruster based on the comic by James Tynion IV and illustrator Michael Dialynas, the thriller is a co-production between Boom! Studios and Peyton’s ASAP Entertainment. It is set in Wisconsin where an entire high school campus — including the 300 students, teachers, parents and workers who happened to be there at the time – vanishes without a trace and reappears in the middle of the thick woods on the moon of a distant planet. Now their normal lives have suddenly and dramatically changed as they must survive the eerie and dangerous environment while desperately trying to find a way to get back home.
In addition to directing, Peyton will executive produce alongside his producing partner, Jeff Fierson. Also executive producing are Armbruster and Boom!’s Ross Richie and Stephen Christy. Josh Levy from Boom! will co-executive produce. Universal Cable Productions, where the project was set up a year ago, is the studio.
“We’ve always seen this title as having the potential to be a stand-out sci-fi property, and there’s no better team to do that with than with Boom! and the teams at UCP/Syfy,” said Peyton and Fierson.
The Woods, currently on Issue 27 of a planned 36-issue run, is one of the longest-running series for Boom! The comic recently was named a 2016 Best Graphic Novel for Young Adults by YALSA.
This is Boom! Studios’ second collaboration with Peyton, who also is attached to direct their Malignant Man feature at 20th Century Fox, based on James Wan’s graphic novel. ASAP Entertainment, which is behind the upcoming New Line/Warner Bros feature film Rampage starring Dwayne Johnson, also has drama First Responders in development at NBC with Vin Diesel producing, and their Netflix series, Frontier starring Jason Momoa, launches in January. Peyton is repped by CAA and Peikoff Mahan. Armbruster is repped by Kaplan/Perrone, Gersh and attorney Mark Temple.
Boom! is in production in South Africa on The Empty Man, a supernatural thriller that is the first feature film to come out of the publisher’s first-look pact at 20th Century Fox. In television, Boom! — which has a first-look deal with 20th TV — recently sold drama Hacktivist to the CW with Matt Corman and Chris Ord writing and Alyssa Milano producing and has Butterfly in development at Channel 4 in the UK with Arash Amel writing and Cow Boy at DreamWorks Animation TV.