When writer Robert Kirkman and artist Paul Azaceta debuted the first issue of their new horror comic Outcast in 2014, the TV adaptation rights had already been in the hands of Cinemax for months. While this might sound premature, it isn't exactly surprising; after all, Kirkman's other horror series The Walking Dead had taken the world by storm when AMC turned it into a TV show, so Cinemax presumably wanted to snap up Kirkman's next idea before anyone else could.
The show stars Patrick Fugit as Kyle Barnes, a man who suffered a devastating brush with demonic possession as a child, and who finds himself tormented by supernatural forces once again as an adult. In his search for answers, Kyle crosses paths with Reverend Anderson (Philip Glenister), a religious man who has dedicated his life to exorcising demonic forces from the bodies of their hosts. Chris Black (Mad Men) will serve as showrunner and the pilot episode was directed by Adam Wingard (The Guest).
Trailers for Outcast were unveiled at San Diego Comic-Con and New York Comic-Con last year, and now we finally know when viewers will be able to tune in for the first episode. The pilot made its debut at SXSW, and Deadline reports that Cinemax announced the premiere date: June 3rd, 2016. Cinemax also revealed that Outcast has already been renewed for a second season, and Cinemax's president of original programming, Kary Antholis, said the network is pretty confident about the show's ability to get viewers hooked:
"Going into the first season of Outcast, we knew that Robert Kirkman had once again created a world that would scare us to our core. But what he, Chris Black and the rest of their team have delivered has exceeded even those high expectations. We believe our viewers will immediately be sucked into Outcast‘s intense and creepy landscape, which is why we have chosen to pick up a second season."
Accompanying the news is a new international teaser for Outcast, courtesy of FOX. Check it out below.
— FOX España TV (@foxtves) March 14, 2016
Reactions to the pilot from SXSW have already begun to emerge on Twitter, with one audience member saying "the opening scene of the #Outcast pilot gives Walking Dead's hardcore opening a run for its money." Another attendee described the episode as "thrilling and heart-stopping." Though this is only a small sampling of responses, it definitely sounds like Outcast will be worth checking out when it debuts this summer - especially for fans of The Walking Dead.
Speaking on the panel, Kirkman (who serves as executive producer) suggested that Outcast isn't going to hold back on its mature themes, describing the "unprecedented creative freedom" that Cinemax offered and saying that the final product "almost scares me at times." In addition to the two main leads, Outcast will also star Wrenn Schmidt (Boardwalk Empire), David Denman (Parenthood), and Reg E. Cathey (House of Cards).
Outcast will premiere on Cinemax on June 3rd, 2016.