FremantleMedia North America is going from flawed gods to all-too-human heroes, with the American Gods producer having acquired the rights to develop writer Kurt Busiek and artists Brent Anderson and Alex Ross‘s superhero comic book series Astro City as a live-action television series. Busiek and Rick Alexander will pen the pilot; and executive produce alongside FremantleMedia North America’s Gregory Noveck.
“It’s a thrill to be working with Rick, Gregory and FremantleMedia on this. Everyone, at every turn, is supportive, helpful and completely focused on capturing the feel of Astro City and bringing it to life as a TV show.” – Kurt Busiek
Created in 1995 by Busiek, Anderson, and Ross, the Astro City universe spans 16 (and counting, as the series moves to a graphic novel format) standalone story arcs that are also loosely-connected in a broader world; and contain over 2,000 original characters. Originally published by Image Comics, the series is currently housed at DC Comics — which is where things get interesting. Although DC Comics is owned by Warner Bros., they weren’t able to automatically secure series rights because Busiek owns the rights to the Astro City line, allowing him to shop the rights to a number of producers.
The fictional Astro City universe explores the lives of ordinary people and those of the all-too-human superhumans in their midst, and their collective, daily struggle to hold on to hope in the face of world-shaking, life-altering events beyond any single individual’s control.
A mid-sized American city blessed with, and cursed by, the largest number of superheroes and supervillains in one place on Earth, Astro City is described as a unique brand of humanistic saga — part superhero epic, part intimate drama — in which the (mostly) good hearted, workaday residents of the eponymous locale come into daily contact with the worrisome, the weird and the wondrous.