Neil Gaiman's "Dead Boy Detectives" Coming To HBO Max
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Neil Gaiman’s “Dead Boy Detectives” Adaptation Coming To HBO Max

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BY September 13, 2021

It seems like every streaming service has a Neil Gaiman adaptation in the works right now. Amazon is currently working on a second season for Good Omens alongside an adaptation of Anansi Boys. Netflix is still working on Sandman, and a slew of other Gaiman stories have also been optioned by various networks. Now HBO Max is throwing their hat in the ring for a Neil Gaiman adaptation with the Dead Boy Detectives. Where do these characters come from, and how will they translate to the screen?

The Dead Boy Detectives Originate With Sandman

Dead Boy Detectives HBO Max Image via DC Comics

The Dead Boy Detectives originally appeared in the Sandman graphic novels. However, they also had a starring role in their own comic mini-series in 2001 written by Ed Brubaker. The titular boys are Charles Rowland and Edwin Payne. They are the ghosts of two young boys who choose to stay on Earth to investigate supernatural crimes, rather than proceed to the afterlife. It is interesting that HBO Max has gained the rights to this series, considering that Netflix is currently adapting Sandman. Perhaps these dead boys won’t appear in the Netflix Sandman series? We’ll have to wait and see.

The Dead Boy Detectives series is being developed for HBO Max by Steve Yockey, Jeremy Carver, and Greg Berlanti. Jeremy Carver has some experience working in comic book television, as the showrunner for the ongoing Doom Patrol series. Interestingly, the characters of Charles Rowland and Edwin Payne are slated to appear in the upcoming season of Doom Patrol. Actors Sebastian Croft and Ty Tennant are onboard to play the characters in that show.

Is A Doom Patrol Crossover In The Cards?

doom patrol season 3 release date

Both of these young actors already have some serious genre credentials. Croft appeared in both Penny Dreadful and Game of Thrones (as a young Ned Stark). Tennant’s famous last name may already give him away, he is the adopted son of David Tennant who of course plays the fallen angel Crowley in Good Omens. (How do we get these two to cross over in the Neil Gaiman-verse?). Ty Tennant has also appeared in War of the Worlds and Tolkien.

Sebastian Croft Sebastian Croft as a young Ned Stark in Game of Thrones | Image via HBO

It is unclear if these actors will reprise the same roles for The Dead Boy Detectives. However, given the same showrunner and streaming network it seems like the odds are pretty high that they will continue in the roles for a new show. Perhaps Carver is aiming for some of that sweet comic book crossover action.

Ty Tennant Ty Tennant in Casualty | Image via BBC

HBO Max has ordered a pilot for the Dead Boy Detectives and is hoping for a full series order. No directors are attached to the project yet, although we do know that Steve Yockey will be writing the script for the pilot.

We’ll be keeping an eye on this and all of the other Neil Gaiman adaptations as we learn more. To stay up to date on all of the latest genre news and reviews, be sure to follow Comic Years on Facebook and Twitter today!

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Emily O'Donnell is a writer and photographer with roots in some of the earliest online fandoms. She cut her genre teeth on the Wizard of Oz books at the tender age of 6 years old, and was reading epic adult fantasy novels by the age of 10. Decades later, she still consumes genre fiction like there is no tomorrow. She is delighted to be living through the golden age of sci-fi and fantasy popularity. She is unashamed of the amount of fanfiction that still lingers online under her name.

AdaptationsDC ComicsDead Boy DetectivesHBO MaxNeil GaimanSandmanstreamingUpcoming Shows

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