The television adaptation world of Robert Kirkman's work is about to expand. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the TV rights for Kirkman's recently-announced upcoming series with artist Paul Azaceta, "Outcast," have landed at Cinemax after a multiple-cable network bidding war. The network has given the series a script commitment with a large penalty, meaning the writer and producer will be paid a fee should the pilot not get produced. Kirkman will serve as executive producer alongside David Alpert, and will also write the script -- his first time writing a series pilot.
"Outcast" is Kirkman's first horror series launch since "The Walking Dead," and during an "Outcast" press call in October, the writer described the book as an extension of the exorcism and demonic possession genre, which centers on "Kyle Barnes, [who] has been plagued by demonic possessions his entire life, and he's decided that he's going to dive deeper into what's been occurring to him...and try to figure out what it is he's been experiencing."
"Despite the success of 'The Walking Dead,' Outcast is only my second foray into the horror genre," Kirkman told THR. "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. 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 [FIC's] Sharon Tal Yguado and I'm thrilled to be a part of what Cinemax has planned for the next few years."
Kirkman also has an untitled "The Walking Dead" companion series in development as well as the long-awaited television adaptation of "Thief of Thieves."
Recently, "Outcast" has been the subject of a possible legal challenge, as comic publisher Valiant Entertainment plans to contest the name of the Skybound series due to the name's similarity to a Valiant one-shot released 20 years ago.
Official Press Release
FOX International Channels (FIC) today announced that Cinemax has acquired the U.S. rights for The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman’s exorcism drama, Outcast.
Outcast was shopped as a spec after it was developed internally at FIC 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.
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 record-breaking, global hit series, 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 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 Steven Soderbergh and starring Clive Owen, is currently in production for a 2014 debut.
About FOX International Channels
FOX International Channels (FIC) is 21st Century FOX’s international multi-media business. We develop, produce and distribute 300+ wholly- and majority-owned entertainment, sports, lifestyle, factual and movie channels in 44 languages across Latin America, Europe, Asia and Africa. FIC’s core channel brands include FOX, FOX Sports, FOX Life and National Geographic Channel. FIC’s movie channels include FOX Movies, FOX Movies Premium, Star Chinese Movies and Moviecity. These networks and their related mobile, non-linear and high-definition extensions, reach over 1.6 billion cumulative households worldwide. FIC is dedicated to delivering high quality US content to its global viewers. We acquire, develop, produce and co-produce scripted and non-scripted programming for our linear and digital platforms including the Golden Globes nominated hit series The Walking Dead, The Bridge and Da Vinci's Demons. In the past five years FIC pioneered a global release strategy and is the first and only international TV company to release TV series in 125 countries at the same time as the US. In addition FIC owns and operates two production studios that produce hundreds of local programming hours for its wholly owned channels and third parties.
Skybound is Robert Kirkman's imprint at Image Comics and home to his creator-owned works including his Eisner Award-winning comic book series, The Walking Dead, long-running Invincible, all-ages Super Dinosaur and Thief of Thieves. Skybound also develops and fosters other talented writers, creators and artists and publishes their comic book series and graphic novels: Clone, Ghosted, Invincible Universe and Witch Doctor. Since its inception, Skybound has helped create television shows, merchandise, games (The Walking Dead: Assault iOS app), and entertainment events (The Walking Dead Escape). Skybound/Kirkman frequently top the hardcover and paperback bestseller lists. Your destinations for all news and merchandise from Robert Kirkman, The Walking Dead and all Skybound titles are www.Skybound.com and www.TheWalkingDead.com
Cinemax is the premier movie destination on television offering a wide variety of film entertainment, combining select and broad-appeal films that showcase Hollywood’s hottest hits, the best in new cinema, action-packed thrillers, wild comedies, classic screen gems and more. Added to the more than 1,200 movies shown yearly are first-to-pay box-office hits that premiere on the channel, giving viewer’s access to new and exclusive films. Cinemax premiered its first original primetime series, Strike Back, in 2011. The action/drama series was recently renewed for a fourth and final season. Banshee, from True Blood creator Alan Ball, will debut its second season in January 2014. The Knick, directed by Steven Soderbergh and starring Clive Owen, is currently in production for a 2014 debut.