EC Comics is partnering with Hivemind for a new film and T.V. venture as of last of week, now eyeing Weird Fantasy to be the first of the roster. Based on the seminal 1950 comic series, William M. Gaines Agent, Inc., the proprietors of EC Comics will be joining Hivemind to grow a series aimed at tackling the kind of shocking and subversive sci-fi/fantasy lore and social concious issues that made a name for company over the years.
“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,” said producer and Hivemind Co-President Dinesh Shamdasani. “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.”
Through EC Comics, Gaines’s influence helped shape the zeitgeist of the last century with the company selling tens of millions of comics, and ultimately becoming the dominant force of the era’s booming comic book industry. EC is also home to such properties as Tales From The Crypt and Mad Magazine.
Weird Fantasy was ground zero for its creative flourish from celebrated creators and artists like Frank Frazetta, Wally Wood, and Harvey Kurtzman, and even fueled the inspiration of such filmmakers like Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Quentin Tarantino, John Carpenter, and others. The newly established partnership and jump to television marks a new era for EC, and the first time that WMG Agent Inc. has made Weird Fantasy available for adaptation in more than two decades.
This legacy is also part of what is currently in development for a feature film based on Gaines’s life and work. Per the announcement:
The new partnership is also slated to include a feature film based on the life of William M. Gaines, the former EC Comics publisher and self-styled comics provocateur who challenged the rigid moral code of 1950s America with shockingly innovative and deeply subversive tales of fantasy, horror and humor that sold in the millions…only to find his company investigated by Congress and his books burned in the streets in the wake of EC’s staggering success.
Chronicling one of the greatest untold chapters in American history, the film will follow Gaines’ transformation from a staid, New York publishing impresario into a counterculture hero, guardian of artistic freedom, and champion of the First Amendment as his darkly humorous journey through the troubled birth of the comic book industry reveals the Red Scare-era witch hunt that nearly doomed an American art form, through the subsequent founding of MAD MAGAZINE and eventual rise of Marvel Comics in EC’s wake.
Gaines’ daughter and grandson, Cathy Mifsud and Corey Mifsud, will produce for EC, alongside Hivemind’s Dinesh Shamdasani, Sean Daniel, Jason F. Brown, and Valiant Comics’ former marketing and communications head, Hunter Gorinson; Gorinson now serves as VP Brand & Content Strategy for Hivemind as of last year.
“The story of William Gaines is the secret history of American pop culture,” said Gorinson. “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,” said Cathy Mifsud, Gaines’ daughter. “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.”
Hivemind’s expanding film and TV roster currently includes Amazon Studios’ The Expanse, the highly anticipated Netflix adaptation of The Witcher starring Henry Cavill, and CBS Films’ upcoming Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark from producer/co-writer Guillermo del Toro and director André Øvredal.
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