Before the first issue even hits the stands, Robert Kirkman and Paul Azaceta's Outcast has been sold to Cinemax for a television adaptation, the network announced today.
That's in spite of reports that Valiant Entertainment has already approached the creative team about changing the book's name, as they forced Boom! Studios to do with their Valen the Outcast series previously, because Valiant technically owns the trademark on the title "Outcast" as a comics property due to a little-remembered one-shot from the '90s.
Outcast was shopped as a spec after it was developed internally at FOX International Channels and is Kirkman’s first time penning a pilot. It was pursued by a number of leading cable networks before landing at Cinemax. The TV adaptation is based on Kirkman/Skybound’s recently-announced comic book by the same name. Kirkman will serve as Executive Producer alongside David Alpert of Circle of Confusion, who also works on AMC's The Walking Dead.
Outcast follows Kyle Barnes, a young man who has been plagued by possession since he was a child. Now an adult, he embarks on a journey to find answers but what he uncovers could mean the end of life on Earth as we know it.
“Despite the success of The Walking Dead, Outcast is only my second foray into the horror genre. I think Kyle Barnes is every bit as compelling as Rick Grimes and demonic possession is way scarier than zombies--so this is going to be fun,” said Robert Kirkman. “Starting a new project is like setting off on an long journey and I couldn't ask for better travel companions than David Alpert and Sharon Tal Yguado and I'm thrilled to be a part of what Cinemax has planned for the next few years.”
“At FIC, we’re committed to creating compelling, innovative television with A-List writers like Robert Kirkman, and with Cinemax we have a partner that is as passionate as we are about this very unique project," said Sharon Tal Yguado, Executive Vice President of Original Development and Scripted Programming at FIC. “Outcast is unlike anything on television and has the potential to become another global phenomenon.”
FIC’s long-standing partnership with Kirkman began on The Walking Dead, on which FIC is the international partner and global broadcaster in 125 countries. Outcast is the latest example of FIC’s mission to develop breakthrough character-driven dramas in the U.S. that can translate into global tentpole franchises. FIC pioneered its global day-and-date release strategy with the hit series The Walking Dead, and replicated it with key properties, including Da Vinci’s Demons and The Bridge. The group most recently announced a development deal for the espionage thriller, False Flag, in partnership with Keshet International and Peter Landesman, the writer and director of the JFK assassination drama Parkland.
Cinemax’s first original primetime series, Strike Back, was recently renewed for a fourth and final season. Banshee will launch its second season in January 2014, and The Knick, directed by Ocean's Eleven filmmaker Steven Soderbergh and starring Sin City's Clive Owen, is currently in production for a 2014 debut.