3:30pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
'The Originals' Boss Adapting Vertigo Comic 'Unfollow' for ABC
ABC is expanding its comic book universe.
The broadcast network, already home to Marvel TV, is adapting Vertigo comic book Unfollow, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
Written and executive produced by The Originals showrunner Michael Narducci, the drama — which has received a script commitment from the network — hails from Warner Bros. Television. The drama explores what happens when a secretive billionaire makes a global announcement — via the social media platform he invented — that he is terminally ill and has decided to bestow his entire fortune to a seemingly random sample of 140 people from around the world. When one of them turns up dead, the others realize that they are all suspects — and the next potential victim.
The comic, published in November by DC Entertainment imprint Vertigo, is written and created by Rob Williams and Michael Dowling and features a cast of characters including a young black man trying to get by in St. Louis; an Iranian reporter in need of hope; a retired special forces soldier with an odd sense of purpose; and a thrill-seeking heiress.
"I felt that Twitter and social media had a very zeitgeist-y story to tell. Something that felt very now.This is a strange moment in time, I think, where the Internet has become a new frontier and we're still establishing limitations and dangers," Williams told THR in July of the idea for Unfollow. "I wanted to encapsulate that in a story that dealt with Twitter culture — people have followers, cults of personality, ruthlessness of ambition. And Mike Dowling and I sat down and talked about doing a story that really focused on how we're all very much still in the food chain, day to day. Technology hasn't diminished that. It's just given it a different appearance.
The deal expands Narducci's relationship with WBTV, which produces both The Vampire Diaries and its spinoff, The Originals. He's repped by Brant Rose Agency and manager David Baird and counts Medium and The 4400 among his credits.
Should Unfollow move to series, it would expand ABC's comic book inventory. The network is home to Marvel dramas Agents of SHIELD and its spinoff Agent Carter and is developing single-camera comedy Damage Control. The Disney-owned network and Marvel are also readying pilot Marvel's Most Wanted, centered on SHIELD's Mockingbird and Lance Hunter, as well as a top-secret project from American Crime creator John Ridley.