The show, based on characters created for DC by Neil Gaiman and Matt Wagner, was originally ordered to pilot at the streamer last fall. HBO Max has given it an eight-episode order.
The show is described as a ghost story that explores loss, grief, and death through the lens of Edwin Payne and Charles Rowland, two dead British teenagers, and their very alive friend, Crystal Palace.
As Variety exclusively reported, George Rexstrew and Jayden Revri star as Dead Boy Detectives Edwin Payne (Rexstrew) and Charles Rowland (Revri), and Kassius Nelson stars as Crystal Palace.
Additional series stars include: Briana Cuoco as Jenny the Butcher, Ruth Connell as the Night Nurse (reprising her role from the “Dead Patrol” episode of HBO Max’s “Doom Patrol”), Yuyu Kitamura as Niko, and Jenn Lyon as Esther.
Steve Yockey wrote the pilot episode and serves as showrunner. Yockey, Jeremy Carver, and Greg Berlanti, and Sarah Schechter of Berlanti Productions serve as executive producers. Lee Toland Krieger directed the pilot and also served as an executive producer on the pilot alongside David Madden. Warner Bros. Television is the studio. Yockey, Carver, Berlanti Productions, and Krieger are all under overall deals at WBTV.
“I’ve been obsessed with this comic for a long time, so it’s a true passion project,” Yockey said. “And Jeremy, Berlanti Productions, DC, WBTV, HBO Max — they’re all encouraging me to run with every wild, bizarre, and unsettling choice. The result is going to be really dark fun.”
This marks the latest of Gaiman’s works to get adapted for the screen. Starz previously aired “American Gods,” while Netflix released the final season of “Lucifer” last year. Netflix is currently prepping a series adaptation of “The Sandman.” Gaiman currently has an overall deal at Amazon, with that streamer having aired the series version of “Good Omens.” A second season is on the way for that show while Amazon is also readying a series based on Gaiman’s “Anansi Boys.”
“We are excited to be expanding further into the DC Universe with Steve, Jeremy and the Berlanti team with this thrilling new spin on a detective series,” said Sarah Aubrey, head of original content at HBO Max. “We were fascinated by the world of the Dead Boy Detectives that Steve and Jeremy first introduced in ‘Doom Patrol,’ and cannot wait to follow the supernatural sleuths in the lurid mysteries to come.”