Syfy acquires Five Ghosts comic for TV series

unnamed (5)Syfy has announced the pulpy adventure comic FIVE GHOSTS is in development as a TV series to be produced by Universal Cable Productions, Black Mask Studios, and BenderSpink. The pilot is being written by Evan Daugherty (Snow White And The Huntsman, Divergent, TMNT) based on the critically acclaimed comic series by Frank J. Barbiere and Chris Mooneyham, about 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. The series will be executive produced by BenderSpink and Black Mask. Black Mask’s Matt Pizzolo andBrett Gurewitz will co-executive produce with BenderSpink’s executive producers Chris Bender, Jake Weiner and producerJake Wagner.

Black Mask Studios, the publishing/production company founded last year by musician/entrepreneur Brett Gurewitz (Bad Religion, CEO Epitaph Records, ANTI- Records), comic book writer Steve Niles (30 Days of Night, Criminal Macabre) and filmmaker/transmedia-specialist Matt Pizzolo (Godkiller, Occupy Comics), acquired the film/tv/transmedia rights to Five Ghosts in late 2013, developing it for television as well as other transmedia adaptations to be announced.

“Matt Pizzolo has been a close friend and sounding board to me for a long while, so I’m thrilled to have Matt and Black Mask on board as producers for Five Ghosts,”said Barbiere. “Matt and Black Mask are constant advocates for the material and have helped us every step of the way while bringing Five Ghosts to the small screen.”

Barbiere continued: “Beyond television, we’re extremely thrilled to be working with Black Mask in developing exciting new media content for Five Ghosts. Black Mask is helping us bring a direct adaptation of the source material to digital media and it’s amazing to be able to have actual artwork and assets from the comic be brought to new audiences.”

FIVE GHOSTS was funded on Kickstarter in 2012 and previewed at San Diego Comic Con that year when Pizzolo (who would later co-found Black Mask Studios) shared his San Diego Comic Con table with then-unknown writer Frank Barbiere. FIVE GHOSTS was picked up by Image Comics and premiered at Emerald City Comic Con becoming one of the breakout hits of 2013. Black Mask entered into an agreement with Universal Cable Productions in July 2014 to develop Five Ghosts together for television as well as other media.

Pizzolo said: “Frank and Chris have really crafted something unique here, a non-stop action thrill ride with a smart, sophisticated literary sensibility. It’s really a pleasure to get to work with them on expanding the Five Ghosts world.”

About Five Ghosts
Five Ghosts is an ongoing comic book series created by writer Frank J. Barbiere and illustrator Chris Mooneyham. The tale of a 1930s-era treasure hunter possessed by five literary ghosts (Merlin, Robin Hood, Sherlock Holmes, Musashi, and Dracula), the comic was launched as a successfully self-published Kickstarter in April 2012, picked up by Image Comics at New York Comic Con in October 2012, and debuted in comic shops in March 2013 where it sold through multiple printings of its initial 5-issue mini-series. After release of its collected Volume 1 in September 2013, Five Ghosts expanded into an ongoing series. The New York Times called it a “great series… part of a creative renaissance”and Newsarama called it “that next big thing.” Five Ghosts Volume 2 was released in July 2014.

About Black Mask Studios
Black Mask Studios is a publishing/production company that specializes in working with creators interested in utilizing ‘transmedia storytelling’ to reach a range of audiences across multiple media platforms. Launched in 2013 by Brett Gurewitz (Bad Religion, Epitaph Records, ANTI- Records), Matt Pizzolo (GODKILLER, Occupy Comics), and Steve Niles (30 DAYS OF NIGHT), the company’s mandate is to support unique creators and expand their audiences. Black Mask’s initial slate included the political, not-for-profit Occupy Comics (with Alan Moore, Charlie Adlard, Art Spiegelman, Molly Crabapple, and dozens more), the animal-rescuing vigilantes story Liberator, Adam Egypt Mortimer and Darick Robertson’s transreal, cyberpunk adventure Ballistic, and the multi-platform gangster odyssey 12 Reasons To Die by Ghostface Killah and RZA. Black Mask is currently readying an announcement of its widely expanded second slate.

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