Dark Horse Sign First-Look Deal with Universal: ‘Umbrella Academy’ May Come to TV
In this bountiful week of San Diego-related comics news, Dark Horse has announced a first-look deal with Universal Cable to develop television shows based on Dark Horse properties past and present, including Umbrella Academy, Harrow County, and Concrete.
Dark Horse has a number of notable licenses in its back-pocket, reaching beyond the obvious high profile series like Hellboy, which has of course already been adapted for the screen. A series like Cullen Bunn and Tyler Crook's Harrow County is perhaps a better example of Dark Horse's bench; the series is a steady success rather than an explosive hit, but its story of backwoods supernatural horror is exactly the sort of idea that could work nicely on television.
Umbrella Academy is probably the biggest draw, as the Gerard Way/Gabriel Ba series was hugely acclaimed when it came out and still boasts a huge fanbase today. According to Variety, which broke the news, Bluegrass Films will produce a screenplay for the Umbrella Academy television adaptation. This is the only one of the three announced comics deals with any specific details in place, so it may be the first Dark Horse/Universal project to make it to the screen. Variety also mentions plans for a sci-fi project called Back Up, but that project is based on a feature script, not an existing comic series.
We're now in an era where comics are easily marketed to production companies as adaption-friendly, with series like Outcast, Preacher, and The Wicked & The Divine at various stages of development. In that context, Dark Horse's deal with Universal seems rather inevitable, but Universal could be a particularly good fit for Dark Horse's brand of fantasy and horror. The company's past projects include several SyFy shows, such as Dominion, Ascension, and Defiance.
Upcoming comics projects at Dark Horse will likely also be part of this new deal, which hopefully that means greater remuneration for the people making the comics.
Check out Tyler Crook's Art Process for Harrow County