The last few years have provided Neil Gaiman fans with a number of successful adaptations of the author’s works, including American Gods, Good Omens and most recently the highly anticipated adaptation of his Sandman graphic novels. It looks like it isn’t going to stop there either, as now Gaiman’s Dead Boy Detectives has been given a pilot order from HBO Max, and if it is anywhere near as successful as those who have come before it, then we can likely see a series commissioned in the not so distant future.
The new project heads into pre-production as Netflix continue work on bringing Sandman to life – which the Dead Boy Detectives are linked to – and work is also underway for a second season of Good Omens, the brilliant series starring David Tennant and Michael Sheen, which was adapted from Gaiman’s much loved collaboration with the late Terry Pratchett.
Dead Boy Detectives will follow Charles Rowland and Edwin Paine, the two leads created by Gaiman in 1991 for DC Comics as part of his Sandman mythology. The basic story behind the characters is that they are the ghosts of two young boys, who turn their back on entering the afterlife and instead decide to hang around on Earth to solve crimes with a supernatural element to them. The series has plenty of potential to be developed for TV, and it is hard to see how it can possibly pick up a series order considering how popular both the crime and supernatural genres are right now, and not forgetting that Gaiman does seem to be currently riding the crest of a wave of popularity.
According to a report in Variety, the pilot script will be complete in time for the shooting to begin in November, but there are no director or actors currently attached to the project. The odd thing is that the two ghost children are already appearing on HBO Max in the form of Doom Patrol’ s Sebastian Croft and Ty Tennant, but whether new blood will be brought in for the characters’ first solo outing is unclear.
Neil Gaiman is currently ruling the TV fantasy genre, and if Dead Boy Detectives makes it to series, it will be the fifth such production currently being worked on. Partly thanks to his new deal with Amazon, Gaiman is seeing the second season of Good Omens going into production for the streaming giant, along with the adaptation of his novel Anansi Boys, a dark fantasy tale featuring one of the characters from American Gods, although the character doesn’t actually have any direct link to that novel’s counterpart. Starz are currently preparing to bring the final season of American Gods to screens, and as mentioned, Netflix are now deep into post- production of Sandman, while a new audiobook version of that collection of stories is being developed by Audible.
All in all, there is much to look forward to in the coming year and beyond, as it is likely that these will not be the only Neil Gaiman projects to be heading to screens in the future considering the author’s overall Amazon deal having just kicked off. We will await what is next with eager anticipation.