EC Comics is making a return to film and television thanks to Hivemind, the team behind Netflix's The Witcher. The team is currently developing two projects based on the classic comic book publisher's work. The first will be inspired by EC's Weird Fantasy books and will likely be presented as an anthology series, while the second will be a biopic feature film revolving around the life of firebrand EC publisher William M. Gaines.
Gaines was a polarizing figure whose work led a cultural panic back in the 1950s. The stories featured in EC's comics were targeted for allegedly contributing to juvenile delinquency, which not only led to a moral panic, but Congressional investigations that targeted the comic book industry as a whole. These events transformed Gaines from a publisher to an advocate for free speech who was often cited as a counterculture revolutionary.
One of Gaines' principal accomplishments was the founding of MAD Magazine, which remains in publication to this day. The biopic will likely focus on Gaines' accomplishments in publishing both MAD and various books from EC, as well as his overall impact on the industry.
There isn't much known about the overall format or who might star in either project, but both are being helmed by producers Cathy and Corey Mifsud, who are Gaines' daughter and grandson respectively. They represent EC in the project alongside Dinesh Shamdasani, Sean Daniel, Jason F. Brown and Hunter Gorinson from Hivemind. Notably, Shamdasani and Gorinson have a background in comics, having worked for Valiant Entertainment.
"The EC library is a timeless literary achievement that deserves to stand alongside the works of Stephen King, Philip K. Dick, and H.P. Lovecraft. Weird Fantasy is a truly historic property that shattered many barriers, and our goal is to make the television series just as fearless and forward-thinking as the stories that inspired it," Shamdasani said in a statement.
EC Comics' properties are no stranger to television and film, having contributed characters, events and stories to a number of adapted works. Joel Silver adapted the name of their publication, Weird Science, into the film of the same name in the 80s. The popular horror anthology book Tales from the Crypt was adapted into an anthology series on HBO from 1989 - 1996, followed by several film adaptations. This new deal between EC, Hivemind and Netflix will bring the anthology properties to an entirely new generation.