Dead Boy Detectives has found a new home. The DC drama based on the Neil Gaiman and Matt Wagner comics has been sold to Netflix by developer HBO Max.
Warner Bros. Television, the backers of HBO Max, let the unaired Greg Berlanti drama go after sources say the series “didn’t fit with the new chapter of content that DC executives James Gunn and Peter Safran are building for the comic book powerhouse.”
With their upcoming new schedule of reworked DC content, HBO Max would not have been able to market the show until 2024. So, executives allowed producers to take the show elsewhere.
Dead Boy Detectives was given an eight-episode season last year after being initially ordered to pilot in 2021. The Flight Attendant creator and Supernatural writing alum Steve Yockey wrote the pilot episode and serves as showrunner. Yockey, fellow Supernatural writer Jeremy Carver, the Arrowverse’s Greg Berlanti, and Sarah Schechter of Berlanti Productions all serve as executive producers.
The official series description states:
“It’s a fresh take on a ghost story that explores loss, grief, and death through the lens of Edwin Payne and Charles Rowland, two dead British teenagers, and their very alive friend, Crystal Palace. So, it’s a lot like a vintage detective series — only darker and on acid.”
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When the pilot was announced, Yockey said:
“I’ve been obsessed with this comic for a long time, so it’s a true passion project. And Jeremy [Carver], Berlanti Productions, DC, WBTV, HBO Max — they’re all encouraging me to run with every wild, bizarre, and unsettling choice. The result is going to be really dark fun.”
The Dead Boy Detectives characters were initially created by Neil Gaiman, Matt Wagner, and Malcolm Jones III, and versions of them have already appeared in the third season of HBO Max’s Doom Patrol. That time around, Edwin and Charles were played by Ty Tennant, the son of David Tennant, and Sebastian Croft of Heartstopper fame.
In the HBO Max series, Charles is played by Jayden Revri (The Lodge), newcomer George Rexstrew plays Edwin, and Crystal Palace will be brought to life by Kassius Nelson (Netflix’s A Series of Unfortunate Events).
Revri, Rexstrew, and Nelson join a host of other impressive cast members, including Briana Cuoco (The Flight Attendant, Harley Quinn) as Jenny, Jenn Lyon (Claws) as Esther, Yuyu Kitamura (Mother Tongue) as Niko, and Ruth Connell (Supernatural, For the Love of George), who will play Night Nurse, a demon that controls the flow of souls in the afterlife — a character that Connell has previously played in Doom Patrol.
Dead Boy Detectives is the latest series to be impacted by the arrival of James Gunn and Peter Safran at DC. HBO Max has canceled Pennyworth as well as Berlanti’s Doom Patrol and Titans. Dead Boy Detectives seems to have been granted a reprieve by being picked up by Netflix.
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