While he may not be a household name like his DC Universe contemporaries such as Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and Green Lantern, Deadman is getting a shot at stardom in a new series from Supernatural creator Eric Kripke.
Deadman concerns the story of circus trapeze artist Boston Brand who actually performed under the name Deadman – in his now patented red jumpsuit and white make-up. Brand’s story truly begins after his life is taken from him while performing by a mysterious attacker known only as the Hook. Trapped in spirit form, Brand is given the ability to possess the bodies of the living by the (fictional) Hindu goddess Rama Kushna – so that he may walk the earth to solve the mystery of, and avenge, his untimely death.
As far as comic book characters go, Deadman's synopsis alone reads like it’s being pitched as a television series, so prepping the living-impaired superhero for the small screen likely came easy to supernatural aficionado Eric Kripke.
Kripke’s success with Supernatural and obvious talent for crafting stories with a horror/supernatural element have made him something of an up-and-comer with Warner Bros. In addition to Deadman and his continued work on Supernatural, Kripke is also poised to write and direct his first feature film – Haunted.
Kripke’s development deal happened to coincide with The CW’s plans to once again reach into the deep well that is the Warner Bros. owned DC Comics universe.
Last month, CW president Mark Pedowitz stated as much: “We’re looking next year to do a superhero show if the right superhero comes to be."
Looks like that hero is Deadman.
Not long ago, the Deadman property was one of many projects to be adapted into a feature film by visionary filmmaker Guillermo Del Toro. Sadly, with a dance card as full as his, the director had to move on in order to continue work on his upcoming Pacific Rim and hopefully score a greenlight for the ever-elusive adaptation of At The Mountains of Madness. While it’s unfortunate when Del Toro passes on comic book material that seems to be right up his alley, the director is continuing his work on Marvel’s Incredible Hulk series for ABC.
Truthfully, having Kripke develop Deadman into an ongoing television series is probably the best scenario for the character. After serving up this summer’s disappointing Green Lantern – a heavy hitter in the DC Comics universe – Warner Bros. may have come to the realization that even popular comic characters can sometimes be a tough sell, and the small screen may be better suited for lesser-known characters like Deadman.
Recently, Deadman played a large role in the Green Lantern-centric maxi-series ‘Brightest Day’ – written by Geoff Johns, current Chief Creative Officer of DC Comics, and occasional Smallville scribe. Johns’ efforts to elevate the character seem to have paid off. In addition to the proposed television series, Deadman has a new ongoing comic series set to launch with the reboot of the DC Universe next month. Perhaps Johns' devotion to the character means we will be seeing some Geoff Johns-written episodes should Deadman make it to series.
If all goes well, fans can expect Deadman to hit The CW in the fall of 2012.