Chris Meloni To Star In and Produce Happy!

Christopher Meloni, of Law and Order, Man of Steel, and Harold and Kumar fame, will appear in the forthcoming pilot based on Grant Morrison and Darick Robertson's creator-owned comic Happy!, Deadline reports.

Meloni will play the lead role in Happy!, that of Nick Sax -- a down-on-his luck former detective who's now a hitman for the mob.

Here's how the Deadline story describes the series: "Once a rock star detective for a major metropolitan police force, Nick lost it all. Now he’s a broken, down-and-out hired killer who makes just enough money to support a steady diet of booze, drugs and sarcasm by carrying out hits for the mob. After one hit goes wrong, his life is forever changed by a tiny, relentlessly positive, imaginary blue-winged horse."

The blue features, and Sax's filthy Santa Claus outfit, were both staples in the marketing for Happy! when it was a comic book. Ironically, Morrison would go on to write Klaus for BOOM! Studios, a dark, bloody origin story for the real Saint Nick.

"Despite having stepped away from monthly superhero books I still felt the itch to indulge my love of writing superhero fantasy fiction," Morrison told ComicBook.com of that project. "I liked the idea of having my own Superman or Doctor Who—an instantly recognisable, familiar character who could appear in any kind of adventure or story but who wasn’t already owned by some entertainment corporation. Santa Claus fit the bill perfectly; not only was he open source, he seemed relatively untouched by the revisionist’s hand. I figured someone would get around to doing Santa as a superhero if I didn’t, so I went for it and Klaus is the result. Ultimately, it was a big hot choice between Santa Claus or Jesus Christ. Santa won the toss. Otherwise, Christ appears prominently in an upcoming project for Heavy Metal magazine!"

(Not entirely untouched, by the way...)

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(Photo: Darick Robertson/Image Comics)

Brian Taylor of Crank and Gamer fame will direct the pilot, from a script co-written by Taylor and Morrison. Morrison will also work with Syfy to write a screenplay for Brave New World.

The pilot is headed for Syfy, and will likely be produced by Sony Pictures Television, where producer Neal H. Moritz has an overall deal.