Michael London Developing Greg Rucka Comic 'Black Magick' for TV

Groundswell Productions landed the rights to the Eisner Award-winning fantasy cop drama.
Courtesy of Image Comics

TV's comic book invasion continues.

Eisner Award-wining author Greg Rucka and illustrator Nicola Scott's Image Comics title Black Magick is being developed for the small screen, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

Michael London's Groundswell Productions (The Illusionist) has landed the rights to the comic following a multiple-party bidding war and plans to develop the property as an hourlong cable or streaming drama.

Black Magick, first published in April,is described as a gritty thriller about witchcraft and crime. The comic centers on Rowan Black, a robbery-homicide detective in the fictional port city of Portsmouth, USA, itself a cauldron of occult mystery. She is also the latest in a long line of witches stretching back for millennia. For years, Rowan has struggled to keep a balance between her two lives, but the past is finally catching up to her. Peculiar and mysterious murders draw Rowan into an investigation where the lines between her two lives continue to erode, where she is left with no choice but to harness her powers to not only save the people she loves, but to preserve a future for all humanity.

Rucka, whose comic work includes Action Comics, Batwoman, Detective Comics and Superman: World of New Krypton, is a three-time Eisner Award winner. His comic Lazarus is also being developed for television with Legendary TV and Matt Tolmach, with Rucka penning the pilot. His credits include feature films Whiteout, based on the comic of the same name. His novel and comic series Queen & Country is also set up at Fox with Ellen Page set to star.

“We had a lot of attention and some very difficult choices to make when it came to finding Black Magick a home,” Rucka said. “Ultimately, Michael and Groundswell took the day with a passion and sincerity that certainly make Nic and I feel that Rowan is in very good hands.”

For Groundswell, the title comes as the company continues to establish itself in television with Syfy's The Magicians and Hulu's Hugh Laurie drama Chance. The production company is also shooting FX pilot Snowfall for John Singleton and was nominated for an Emmy for HBO's Kerry Washington vehicle Confirmation. On the film side, the company's credits include Milk, Trumbo, The Visitor and more.

"Greg and Nicola have created an indelible small town character and put her at the center of a gripping mystery driven by a fresh take on the mythology of witchcraft," London said. "Our plan is to find a world-class creator who can realize their vision for series and then take it to the cable and streaming networks."

Rucka is repped by Cheng Caplan, InkWell Management and Stone Genow. London is repped by WME and Bloom Hergott.

The news comes as comic book adaptations remain in high demand across broadcast, cable and streaming services following the success of series including AMC's The Walking Dead, Netflix's Marvel fare like Jessica Jones and The CW's DC Comics universe with Flash, Arrow and Supergirl, among others.

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