A year into existence, Legendary TV and Digital Media studio announced a few days ago the hiring of former Sony Pictures Television International head Michael Grindon, who will run their newly formed global television distribution division. With almost all of the necessary pieces in place, Legendary TV is now ready to get into creating actual product, and they’ve lined up a hell of an interesting first project. Max Brooks’ popular "vampires vs. zombies" horror comic The Extinction Parade is being developed into a potential series, because shows about zombies and vampires living exclusively are so behind the times.
Brooks, the son of legendary comedian and director Mel Brooks, will pen the pilot's script, according to Deadline. Brooks has written for TV before, spending a couple of years penning sketches for Saturday Night Live. He’s also no stranger to having his written words adapted to a visual medium, at least in theory, with his 2006 post-apocalyptic oral history World War Z famously getting half-adapted into Mark Forster’s troubled 2013 film of the same name, which became a huge success despite a problematic production. I’m sure everyone involved is planning on this project being a more straightforward success.
Extinction Parade, first published by Avatar Press last year, takes place in the ever-popular post-apocalyptic setting caused by a plague of zombies destroying most of the world’s population. Lest images of The Walking Dead’s Rick Grimes shamble through your brain, this is also a world where vampire exist. Backed into a metaphorical corner once the zombie outbreak threatens to deplete their food supply, the vamps are forced to take the offensive against the undead, leading to a huge bloody supernatural war with humanity stuck in the middle. One can only hope that artist Raúlo Cáceres will be involved in bringing his striking visuals, both gore-soaked and not, to the small screen.
With two deadly vampire sisters, Min and Laila, as the main protagonists, Extinction Parade could offer TV viewers the rare mix of brutal female-driven horror. While the genre has had many heroines to root for, such as Buffy or True Blood’s Sookie Stackhouse, the horror of those series is sporadic and tempered. Avatar Press publisher William Christensen understands how underrepresented truly vicious thrillers are on TV.
“[Brooks’] work on Extinction Parade has been a stunningly rich tapestry of cultures in decline and a biting indictment of the perils of privilege,” Christensen said in a statement. “It will make the perfect television series to appeal to fans who have until now settled for thinly veiled soap operas parading as horror.” Nothing soapy about this issue cover.
For fans to like it, it will of course first have to actually become a pilot that's amazing enough to get networks interested, preferably cable ones. But few people do zombie fiction as well as Brooks does, so we’re confident it’ll be brainier than Walking Dead's incessant plodding. Brains!