I’ve learned that Syfy is finalizing a deal to develop a drama series based on Five Ghosts, the comic created by writer Frank J. Barbiere and artist Chris Mooneyham. The TV adaptation will be written by hot feature writer Evan Daugherty (Ninja Turtles, Divergent, Snow White and the Huntsman) who will executive produce with BenderSpink’s Chris Bender and Jake Weiner, with Jake Wagner serving as producer for Universal Cable Prods. and BenderSpink.
Frank J Barbiere then posted “Though they were only speculating here, let me be the first to tell you all: Five Ghosts is officially in development for television at SYFY. We’re working on a pilot now, will have lots and lots to report. Thanks for keeping the faith! See you all at NYCC!”
And now the press release has gone out confirming it all…
Syfy has announced the pulpy adventure comic FIVE GHOSTS is in development as a TV series to be produced byUniversal Cable Productions, Black Mask Studios, and BenderSpink. The pilot is being written by Evan Daugherty (Snow White And The Huntsman, Divergent, TMNT) based on the critically acclaimed comic series byFrank J. Barbiere and Chris Mooneyham, about a 1930s era treasure hunter possessed by five literary ghosts (Merlin, Robin Hood, Sherlock Holmes, Musashi, and Dracula) whose unique abilities he can draw on during his adventures. The series will be executive produced by BenderSpink and Black Mask. Black Mask’s Matt Pizzolo and Brett Gurewitz will co-executive produce with BenderSpink’s executive producers Chris Bender, Jake Weiner and producer Jake Wagner.
Black Mask Studios, the publishing/production company founded last year by musician/entrepreneur Brett Gurewitz (Bad Religion, CEO Epitaph Records, ANTI- Records), comic book writer Steve Niles (30 Days of Night, Criminal Macabre) and filmmaker/transmedia-
specialist Matt Pizzolo (Godkiller, Occupy Comics), acquired the film/tv/transmedia rights to Five Ghosts late last year, developing it for television as well as other transmedia adaptations to be announced.
“Matt Pizzolo has been a close friend and sounding board to me for a long while, so I’m thrilled to have Matt and Black Mask on board as producers for Five Ghosts,” said Barbiere. “Matt and Black Mask are constant advocates for the material and have helped us every step of the way while bringing Five Ghosts to the small screen.”
Barbiere continued: “Beyond television, we’re extremely thrilled to be working with Black Mask in developing exciting new media content for Five Ghosts. Black Mask is helping us bring a direct adaptation of the source material to new media and it’s amazing to be able to have actual artwork and assets from the comic be brought to new audiences.”
FIVE GHOSTS was funded on Kickstarter in 2012 and previewed at San Diego Comic Con that year when Pizzolo (who would later co-found Black Mask Studios) shared his San Diego Comic Con table with then-unknown writer Frank Barbiere. FIVE GHOSTS was picked up by Image Comics and premiered at Emerald City Comic Con becoming one of the breakout hits of 2013. Black Mask entered into an agreement with Universal Cable Productions in July 2014 to develop Five Ghosts together for television as well as other media.
Pizzolo said: “Frank and Chris have really crafted something unique here, a non-stop action thrill ride with a smart, sophisticated literary sensibility. It’s really a pleasure to get to work with them on expanding the Five Ghosts world.”