John Barrowman already has serious genre cred with his roles on “Doctor Who,” “Torchwood” and “Arrow,” and his next target is the long-running sci-fi/fantasy anthology magazine “Heavy Metal.” The Hollywood Reporter has word that Barrowman has signed on to develop — as star and executive producer — a potential TV miniseries adaptation of “The 49th Key,” a story by writer Erika Lewis and artist J.K. Woodward that debuted in “Heavy Metal” #273, just released today.
Jeff Krelitz and David Boxenbaum, who purchased “Heavy Metal” early last year, will executive produce; Jeremy Atkins, a former Dark Horse Comics publicist now working with Heavy Metal, is also on board as a producer. “49th Key” is planned as a long-term fantasy series set to unfold in the pages of “Heavy Metal,” centered on a key that leads to a fantasy world called Enochia.
Barrowman is currently a main cast member on “Arrow” in his role of Malcolm Merlyn, and his company Barrowman Barker Productions has produced variety and reality series in Britain.
In an interview last month with CBR, Krelitz and Boxenbaum talked potential Hollywood plans. “‘Heavy Metal’ was always known for something a little edgier, a little wilder, and a little more provocative,” Krelitz said. “We’re trying to complete the circle on that. It’s had the anthology platform for so long — now we want it to move to every other medium, from dot com to film and TV.”