11:14am PT by Graeme McMillan
Classic Comic 'Weird Fantasy' Being Developed as TV Series
More than half a century after it ended as a comic book property, the beloved series Weird Fantasy is set to return as a television anthology in a new partnership between William M. Gaines Agent, Inc. and Hivemind, the company behind Amazon’s The Expanse and Netflix’s upcoming adaptation of The Witcher.
The new series will draw upon legacy of the comic book title unafraid to tackle hot button topics of the time including racism and anxiety over nuclear war in smart, funny stories that didn’t shy away from controversy, according to Hivemind.
The original Weird Fantasy was an anthology comic book series published by the iconic EC Comics in the early 1950s, featuring work by legendary creators including Al Williamson, Frank Frazetta, Joe Orlando, Wally Wood and Harvey Kurtzman, amongst many others. The series lasted for 22 issues before being folded into a new title, Weird Science-Fantasy alongside sibling title Weird Science.
Under the control of William M. Gaines, EC Comics became one of the most famous — some might say, infamous — comic book publishers of all time with a reputation for socially progressive storytelling in titles like Weird Fantasy, Tales from the Crypt and Frontline Combat. The publisher was at the center of criticism about a suspected link between comic books and juvenile delinquency in the mid-1950s that included Gaines appearing in front of Congress to argue against censorship.
As part of the partnership between Hivemind and the Gaines estate, a feature film based on the life of Gaines is also in development, focusing on his work as a champion of the First Amendment and as the initial publisher of MAD Magazine.
“The story of William Gaines is the secret history of American pop culture,” said Hunter Gorinson, who’ll act as producer on both Weird Fantasy and the Gaines biography, in a statement. "The ideas he presented in the pages of MAD, Tales from the Crypt, Weird Fantasy, and so many more would inspire and incite revolutionary countercultures — from comics to comedy to film and music — around the globe for decades to come. As a veteran of the comics industry myself and a lifelong fan of EC, it's a tremendous honor to be working alongside the Gaines family to help bring his story — which has an immense amount to tell us about our own modern moment — to a new generation on the big screen."
“It’s very important to us to be able to find a partner that truly understands the significance and influence of Dad and the world-class creators that made EC Comics legendary,” added Gaines’ daughter Cathy Mifsud. “We’re incredibly excited to have found just such a partner in Hivemind and to embark on the first of several projects that will embrace the company’s legacy in ways never before attempted.”
Both projects will be produced by Mifsud and her son, Corey Mifsud, as well as Hivemind’s Dinesh Shamdasani, Sean Daniel, Jason F. Brown and Gorinson — who has also joined Hivemind as VP Brand and Content Strategy.