Robert Kirkman's comic series The Walking Dead, along with AMC's TV series and Telltale Games' episodic video game that both share its name, has been taking the world by storm in the decade since it first arrived on the scene. Issue #117 of the comics will be published later this month, the TV series has been renewed for a fifth season after scoring record ratings with its season 4 premiere, and a recent teaser trailer heralded the arrival of the video game's second season.
Given the ever-growing success of The Walking Dead, it's not surprising that the TV rights to Kirkman's next comic should be snapped up before the first issue is even published. After making waves with his tale of a zombie apocalypse, the writer is now diving right back into the horror genre with a new comic book and TV series all about demonic possession.
Outcast is the story of Kyle Barnes, a man who has been plagued by demonic possession since childhood and who sets out on a journey to find answers. The downside is that the answers he finds could be part of the path down the road to an apocalypse, but you can't make an omelette without breaking a few eggs.
A TV pilot based on the comic is being written by Kirkman and will be produced through Fox International Channels for cable network Cinemax. Meanwhile, the comic will be illustrated by Paul Azaceta and published under Image Comics imprint Skybound in 2014.
Check out the teaser poster below:
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Quoted in the press release, neither Kirkman nor FIC executive Sharon Tal Yguado make any secret of the fact that Outcast will attempt to replicate the success of The Walking Dead. Yguado promises that, "Outcast is unlike anything on television and has the potential to become another global phenomenon," while Kirkman compares the TV show's protagonist and its monsters to those of The Walking Dead, since these will undoubtedly be the main selling points:
"Despite the success of 'The Walking Dead,' 'Outcast' is only my second foray into the horror genre. I think Kyle Barnes is every bit as compelling as Rick Grimes and demonic possession is way scarier than zombies–so this is going to be fun."
While this might give the concerning impression that Outcast will simply try to leech off or copy The Walking Dead's formula, name-dropping a writer's past successes is par for the course in press releases and there's no reason to think that Outcast can't develop its own style. While demonic possession has been explored on TV before, perhaps most thoroughly as a recurring element in Supernatural, it would be rare and interesting to have a show with demonic possession as the primary focus. At the very least it sounds like Kirkman's pilot will be worth a watch.
Outcast doesn't have an air date yet, but we'll keep you updated on this project as it develops.
Source: Fox International Channels