DC Comics’ ‘The Spectre’ Getting TV Show

Published 4 years ago by

The Spectre TV Show DC Comics The Spectre Getting TV Show

After the CW ending its Superman TV series Smallville, NBC’s strikeout with both Heroes and The Cape, and ABC’s failure to get a Wonder Woman TV show off the ground, suffice to say television fans are still waiting for a new superhero show to come along and occupy the airwaves.

Word is that Warner Bros. TV is uniting with FOX to develop a TV series based on DC Comics’ supernatural character The Spectre. Brandon Camp (John Doe) will be scripting the show and will also executive produce alongside of Gran Torino producer Bill Gerber. DC Entertainment Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns brought the character to Camp’s attention.

For those who don’t know: The Spectre was co-created by Superman co-creator Jerry Siegel and (allegedly) Bernard Bailey back in the 1940s. The character was a cop named Jim Corrigan who is brutally murdered by being stuffed in a barrel that is filled with cement and dropped in the water. Instead of dying, Corrigan was resurrected as an avenging spirit that is tasked with roaming the earth and punishing evildoers who seek to escape the hand of justice. In later incarnations, the Spectre has become a nigh-omnipotent primal force of nature, at times serving as the thematic or spiritual center of DC Universe.

Clearly the TV version of the character is more likely to stick to the undead cop/vigilante, which would essentially make the series a weekly cop procedural with a supernatural twist. Of course, some people may be quick to point out that The Cape tried to follow a similar formula – a cop becomes a hooded vigilante – however, The Spectre is a far cry from the silly melodrama of The Cape, instead offering a mix of Noir and horror genre conventions.

DC recently tested The Spectre’s appeal by featuring the character in an animated short film, and as I said in my review:

This animated short captures the character of The Spectre perfectly, by not shying away from the fact that he is a scary and violent force of the DC universe. Besides the highly-successful Blade franchise, I have yet to see a comic book movie that combines the elements of the horror genre with the superhero genre (nice try Ghost Rider). If ever there was a movie that could tell you a ghost story about a ghost you both root for and fear at the same time, The Spectre would be it. (Not to mention, the character would (literally) open up a whole new dimension of the DC Universe.)

eric kripke deadman the cw DC Comics The Spectre Getting TV Show

Deadman & The Spectre: Does TV have room for TWO undead superheroes?

Hopefully the showrunners recognize the strengths I referred to above, which would be a fresh approach to both cop and superhero TV series. An interesting aside: DC Comics has another supernatural character trying to haunt the TV airwaves – the ghostly hero Deadman, who is being adapted for TV by Supernatural creator Eric Kripke.

 In a best case scenario (for comic book fans) both Deadman and The Spectre will make it onto TV – but is there enough room for two dead superheroes in fans’ viewing schedule? And where does this leave DC occult-themed character, Raven, who was also slated to make her TV debut once upon a time?

This Spectre TV series has a script order at the moment. We’ll keep you informed about how the show develops.

Source: Deadline



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  1. Hmm, interesting. It does have the potential to make for a good series and could give the character some good publicity. Of course, even if it’s good I wouldn’t expect it to last long before it gets cancelled.

  2. Looking forward to it. Hopefully it is done right.
    FOX has it so we’ll probably get 6 really good episodes then they’ll cancel it.

  3. So… at this point DC has 2 TV shows being prepped: Spectre and Deadman. (never heard of em’)

    And Marvel has like 3 or 4 shows being prepped: Hulk, AKA Jessica Jones, Cloak And Dagger, Powers. (looking forward to AKA Jessica Jones and Cloak and Dagger)

    While DC has been very successful with their reboot (so far), they still have A LOT of catching up to do IMO, in terms of live-action movies, live-action TV shows and animated TV shows (their animated movies are way better than Marvel’s though)…

    • Really? I agree with the movies, but as far as TV shows and animation I don’t. DC currently has Young Justice, Brave and the Bold, and a new Green Lantern series starting in the next few months. That’s at least as good as what Marvel’s offering right now. As for TV series, I’m not sure if Marvel currently has anything on at all. Having shows prepped is a long way from actually showing up. The Wonder Woman pilot seemed like a sure thing at one point, so whether any of these Marvel projects happen remains to be seen. I do agree that Marvel seems to have more of it’s act together as far as features go.

      • Consirning animated TV shows:
        Marvel has Avengers: EMH, Super Hero Squad Show, Anime Iron Man, Anime Wolverine, and Iron Man: Armored Adventures (keep in mind this is only at the moment: they also have Ultimate Spider-Man and Hulk and the agents of SMASH being released in 2012)
        In comparison with DC’s animated shows (Batman, Young Justice and the FORTHCOMING Green Lantern)… I think the clear winner is Marvel in terms of QUANTITY and QUALITY.

        Concerning live action:
        I don’t think DC currently has an ongoing show either: Smallville is DONE, Human Target was cancelled (to my knowledge) and we all know Wonder Woman isn’t going anywhere. So IMO DC is pretty much on par with Marvel at THIS point: but IMO, looking at all the shows being prepped, I’d much rather watch Jessica Jones, Mokingbird, Hulk and Cloak & Dagger than “Spectre”, “Raven” and “Deadman”.

        • I’m sorry but being an unbiased marvel fanboy and not having an avengers logo for my avatar, saying marvel 1ups dc on animations is just silly. Concerning animations, dc has always had the upperhand.

          • LOL, just because I have an Avengers logo as my avatar you immediately assume I’m biased? (FYI I’m not): Batman is my favorite superhero of all time and the Justice League animated TV show was the best of it’s genre IMO.

            You don’t seem to be reading my comments clearly: RIGHT NOW, Marvel IS doing a little better than DC in terms of live-action movies and animated TV shows (this isn’t 2005, it’s 2011), and Marvel’s future plans also seem a step ahead of DC’s AT THIS MOMENT.

            And yes, DC HAS always had the upper hand in animation (emphasis on HAS): while DC STILL produces the BEST animated movies, their NEW animated TV shows are lacking in quality and quantity (not that quantity matters though). DC’s plans for new live-action shows also seem a bit underwhelming in comparison to Marvel’s plans.

            All these points are indeed FACTS. They are not my opinions.
            Who knows what DC might throw at us in 2 years (I’m hoping it’s something awesome), but AT THIS POINT, Marvel IS doing better than DC in terms of general entertainment (movies and TV) – no one can argue with that, and the people who do argue with that is probably just hopeless fanboys with no sense of realism.

            In short (I’m guessing this is the only part people will read anyway): I never said Marvel HAS ALWAYS BEEN better than DC or that Marvel WILL ALWAYS BE better than DC, I only said (and I’m saying it again) Marvel IS doing better than DC AT THIS MOMENT.

            • Well, although I do agree with you that Marvel has upped its game in animation, I have to say that I actually really like Young Justice. At least to me, it seems to be at the same level as Avengers: EMH if not better. Also, I don’t think Marvel’s cartoons are really all that good. The only ones I really like are Spectacular Spider-Man (which isn’t on anymore) and Avengers: EMH. Superhero Squad Show looks like crap and so does Iron Man Armored Adventures. So, while Marvel may have more shows out now, it doesn’t mean they’re all that good. DC is still superior in animation in my book, live action movie’s are another story.

              The only problem I have is that DC continues to neglect a lot of their main characters and not try to showcase them in either animated or live-action format. I’m glad that Green Lantern is getting his own series finally; I’m just a little skeptical about it being CGI. However, I don’t know if GL and Young Justice are enough. Why not give Wonder Woman an animated series if a live action one isn’t going to happen. I would actually much rather see an animated WW series than live-action anyway. The Flash IMO desperately needs an animated series and so does Superman. I know Supes already had one in the 90s, but it is getting outdated and if Batman can get a new series like every two years then so can Superman. Captain Marvel, JSA, JLI, even Aquaman, they could all have good series.

              Now for movies, I agree that Marvel has the upper hand. I was disappointed by Green Lantern, as I believ a lot of GL fans were, but I still want the movie to get a sequel. Just for the love of God keep Greg Berlanti AWAY FROM IT!!!! GET HIM OUTTA THERE!!! sorry, as you could probably tell, I don’t like Greg Berlanti. Green Lantern is my favorite superhero and he crapped ALL OVER his character. He made the romantic aspect cheesy and he stuffed it with way too much event-wise so that we never really get to see any character development. He’s just not a good writer or director. I don’t understand why DC chose to have the guy who directed Life As We Know It, which was HORRIBLE, even by the standards of a romantic comedy, come and adapt two of their main characters into movies. Berlanti has never written comics in his entire life, I doubt he’s even read them. He know NOTHING about the character. It just frustrates me. Geoff Johns should have written the script; he should be writing the script for the sequel, but is he? No. WTF!!! However, I think that DC movies can be saved, I mean the Nolan Batman franchise is doing well and I can’t wait to see his take on Superman in Man of Steel. We just need to have people who have written the comics or are at least familiar with the comics come to write the movies.

  4. This could be a really great show. I hope they use Crispus Allen version. But having read a lot of issues, the Spectre isn’t the most sympathetic hero. He’s the embodiment of God’s wrath on Earth, and he does get pretty gruesome in doing his job. I hope it gets a green light and I hope they use Crispus as the lead character!

  5. You know who would make cool tv-show? Constantine, that’s who.

    • Constantine is being integrated into the DC comics universe, so I wouldn’t be all that surprised to see him show up in the Spectre series, assuming it can last long enough.

  6. This is a failure of an idea. How is either a live action Deadman or The Spectre going to appeal to a substantial crowd on a weekly bases? Half a season and both shows will be cancelled.

  7. “best case scenario (for comic book fans)” would be FOX and CW scrapping ideas like this that will never work on tv, thus preventing them from ruining some of my favorite, classic characters.

  8. A proper Spectre TV show wouldn’t be done right on a cable channel. It’d have to be on HBO or something like that.

    Deadman could work though. So I see Deadman being the more successful. Also, because it’s more out of the ordinary from an “avenging spirit.” It has a sort of Quantum Leap vibe to it – jumping into bodies, possessing these bodies to save the day. That’s worked before pretty well.

    Spectre could work, but it’d have to be on HBO or a mature channel for it to really work. And like somebody else has already commented, Fox is not the best channel ever for experimental television shows.

    • I was thinking the same thing except Showtime instead of HBO.

  9. Hope to see it on T.V. soon!

  10. Um. Not to nick pick, but it was NBC that tried to get Wonder Woman off the ground, not ABC. either way the show never had a chance.

  11. definitely excited to see Kripke’s Deadman.

  12. I think there should be a rule — no one gets a show until Wonder Woman gets back on TV. The Spectre…really?

  13. When will there be a black hero on tv it time for one

    • The most recent incarnation of the Spectre is an African American named Crispus Allen. So this might be what you’re looking for.

  14. Hmm looking forward to this we need another superhero show

  15. Tim Kring ruined Heroes.

  16. Both The Spectre and Deadman look pretty cool. I would definitely give them both a watch. I would also like to see a Moon Knight movie or TV show, and definitely a movie team-up of Dr. Fate (Kent Nelson) & Hourman (Rex Tyler). I also dream of one day seeing a Flash (Barry Allen) team-up movie with Green Lantern (Hal Jordan).

  17. Stick to animations dc. I was hoping for an animated series, not a show after the disappointment that was smallville. I really enjoyed the spectre’s animated short.

    • How can you say smallville was a disappointment it lasted for 10 years and was a huge success

  18. I think they will compare Deadman and The Spectre together and decide which gets a show.

  19. If you get rid of the costume for Deadman it would be a supernatural version of Quantum Leap. Ghost jumps into different bodies to do good deeds. Could be a winner.

  20. I would like a TV show that focuses on Bruce Wayne traveling the globe learning all the skills to eventuslly becoming Batman, while not initially intending to becoming Batman. Each season would focus on one main teacher and setting. Henri Ducard could teach him how to track people, the way of the ninja from Ra’s al Ghul, and how to escape the inescapable from Giovanni Zatara (Zatanna papi). Throw in Zatanna and Talia as possible love interest. A very angry Bruce.

    I could care less about this Spectre TV show.

    • That is an awesome idea… i’d definitely watch something like that (as long as it loosely ties into the movie-universe/Nolan-verse).

  21. Which NFL team won first two Super Bowls?

  22. Umm Heroes got 4 seasons on NBC and was highly rated in the demos for 3 of those seasons. Quality wise, Villains was pretty much the only bad seed. I have no idea why you would consider that a strikeout? A Spectre series wish it could get as good of a run as Heroes.