Just because a series of comic books is popular doesn’t mean that it will automatically draw a huge audience. The idea the comic book industry has of a big crowd and the idea movie producers have of a big crowd might actually be two different things. This point has been driven home twice this year with “Kick-Ass” and “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World”, and their less-than-mind-blowing theatrical runs. But with the continuing successes of the “Iron Man”, “X-Men”, and “Dark Knight” franchises, Hollywood isn’t going to give up any time soon.
Vulture reports that Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci (“Fringe”) are teaming up with Josh Friedman (“Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles” to adapt Joe Hill’s series “Locke & Key” for TV. Hill is the son of mega-author Stephen King. Also, did I forget to mention that Steven Spielberg and DreamWorks TV are involved? It must have slipped my mind. That is a lot of star power in one place.
First released in 2008, “Locke & Key” revolves around three kids who end up watching over a secret, spooky New England mansion filled with mystical doors that transport them to different worlds and give them special powers (like turning into a ghost). Dimension had purchased the TV and film rights to the IDW Publishing series back in 2008, not long after the first installment came out (several installments have followed, including one released earlier this month). While there had been talk in the blogosphere of Kurtzman and Orci turning “Locke and Key” into a feature, the project is now moving ahead as a TV series, with Friedman on board to write and produce. Kurtzman and Orci recently signed a big overall deal with 20th Century Fox TV, so the studio will end up producing with Spielberg’s DreamWorks TV (mirroring their current collaboration on Spielberg’s fall 2011 Fox dinosaur drama “Terra Nova”). There’s no broadcast or cable outlet attached yet, but based on the idea for the show and the fact that 20th is involved, the Fox network certainly seems like a logical home.
I think TV might actually be a better fit for comics due to the episodic nature of the medium. There is more room to play with and more space to bring in elements that might get cut while trying to condense years of stories and background information into a 90 minute feature. The upcoming “Walking Dead” series on AMC looks like it might very well be amazing.