Dead Boy Detectives: HBO Max Orders Pilot for DC Comics Adaptation

HBO Max is digging in deeper to the vault of characters at their disposal at DC Comics with Variety bringing word that a pilot based on the Dead Boy Detectives characters has been ordered. Created by Neil Gaiman the pilot has Steve Yockey (Supernatural) attached as writer and executive producer with the regular crew from Berlanti productions, Greg Berlanti, Sarah Schechter, and David Madden, all attached to executive produce as well. In the series, the titular detectives, Charles Rowland and Edwin Paine, opt to stay on earth as spirits to investigate supernatural crimes. First appearing in the pages of Sandman, the Dead Boy Detectives would go on to be in their own series a few times over from DC's Vertigo imprint.

The two characters are actually scheduled to appear in Doom Patrol's upcoming third season, played by Sebastian Croft and Ty Tennant, but what's puzzling is that Variety claims "they are not believed to be attached to the pilot at this time." It's unclear if this new series will be a spinoff of Doom Patrol, and perhaps recast the two roles, or if it will be an entirely different thing. A director for the pilot has also not been attached to the show either though but production is reportedly targeting a November start date.

It wouldn't be the first time that a potential DC spinoff on TV started as a backdoor pilot only for the series to become something else entirely. As you may recall Doom Patrol was originally scheduled to be a spinoff of Titans but the episode they were introduced in varies drastically from the world created in the proper Doom Patrol pilot including recast characters and history between the heroes that isn't present. Perhaps the same thing will happen here, or perhaps a deal will be made with Croft and Tennant to reprise their roles before cameras start rolling.


First appearing in 1991's The Sandman # 25, the limited amount of content that the Dead Boy Detectives appear in likely means that a TV series would draw very little from the source material but rather use it as a building block to create its own stories. Should the pilot be ordered to series though it would be the latest Gaiman creation to leap to television with Netflix betting big on a series adaptation of Sandman proper (with Gaiman involved) plus a surprise second season of Good Omens on Amazon who also have a series adaptation of Anansi Boys in the works.