Ellis, Remender, Barbiere Ink Television Deals

Warren Ellis is teaming with "The Walking Dead" executive producer Gale Anne Hurd to develop his first original television series, one of three comics-related deals announced this morning by Universal Cable Productions.

UCP also optioned "Five Ghosts," the Image Comics series by Frank Barbiere and Chris Mooneyham, and, with IDW Entertainment,  "Night Mary," the 2005 horror comic by Rick Remender and Kieron Dwyer. Both comics are being developed as live-action TV series.

"I've been strongly drawn to television over the last few years," Ellis said in a statement, "and working with brilliant and determined collaborators like Gale and the UCP team, I'm delighted at the opportunity to add my voice to the new, novelistic TV form that's evolved so dramatically." No details were revealed about the project.

Published by IDW, "Night Mary" follows a young woman trained as a lucid dreamer who enters the dreams of the patients at her father's sleep-disorder clinic. When a patient is revealed as a serial killer, the woman is placed in jeopardy as nightmare and reality become intertwined. John Pogue ("The Quiet Ones") will write and direct the pilot. He'll executive produce alongside Ted Adams and David Ozer of IDW and David Alpert and Rick Jacobs of Circle of Confusion.

Debuting last year," Five Ghosts" is a pulp adventure that centers on a 1930s-era treasure hunter possessed by five literary ghosts -- Merlin, Robin Hood, Sherlock Holmes, Musashi and Dracula -- whose unique abilities he can draw on during his adventures. Evan Daugherty ("Snow White and the Huntsman," "Divergent") will write the pilot and executive produce. Chris Bender and Jake Weiner of Benderspink will also serve as executive producers.

"We love genre at UCP and thankfully so do audiences," Universal Cable Productions' Dawn Olmstead said in a statement. "We've made it a priority to seek out great properties that will attract equally great creators to adapt them. From Warren's dynamic plots and complex characters to the dark and suspenseful world of 'Night Mary,' and the creative mash-up of five literary icons in the cult hit 'Five Ghosts,' they are all provocative, distinctive and have the promise to be a whole lot of fun."

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