Another day, another announcement that Syfy is going into development on an interesting new series. This is starting to feel like The Outer Limits. The network’s latest project will be an adaptation of the enjoyable pulp adventure comic Five Ghosts, created by writer Frank J. Barbiere and artist Chris Mooneyham. As exciting as this news is on the surface, scriptwriting duties are being handled by Evan Daugherty, whose latest big screen effort was co-writing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The radicalness of this idea is pending.

Five Ghosts began its life as a successful Kickstarter project, and was first published by Image Comics in 2013. The genre-smashing story follows treasure hunter Fabian Gray, an Indiana Jones-type who has shrapnel from a dream stone – bear with me – embedded in his chest, with each piece granting him the powers of a different fictional character. He is given great accuracy from The Archer/Robin Hood, wisdom and deduction from The Detective/Sherlock Holmes, magical powers from The Wizard/Merlin, demonic abilities from The Vampire/Dracula and fight skills from The Samurai/Miyamato Musashi. The issues are throwbacks to adventure comics of the 1930s, and it would be really interesting to see how that would play in live-action.


According to Deadline, Syfy is finalizing their deal for the show, which was first announced back in July, with BenderSpink and Universal Cable Productions acquiring the comic series. That makes it one of many comic adaptations on Syfy’s slate, joining Ronin, Pax Romana and Letter 44, not to mention other adaptations of 12 Monkeys and Blake’s 7. At least they’re staying away from superheroes and giving audiences a wide variety of source material to go back and look into.

At this point, Five Ghosts’s success mainly depends on how well Daugherty delivers this story. In case Ninja Turtles didn’t scare you off, he also co-wrote 2012’s Snow White and the Huntsman and this year’s Divergent. He’s even the latest guy tackling the G.I. Joe 3 script. If the question was, “Is this guy popular in Hollywood?” the answer would be resoundingly positive. But the question is, “Can he bring a decent adaptation to a story that doesn’t have as big of a built-in audience?” And your guess is as good as mine.

Now, we technically have current versions of each of Five Ghosts’ archetypes floating around, including Arrow, Sherlock, Dracula Untold, Penn & Teller: Fool Us and…47 Ronin on Blu-ray? Okay, so I admittedly stretched it a bit with those last two, but the fact remains that Five Ghosts will need to put these characters’ traits through an original prism in order to make this series feel fresh. But I’m currently more interested than I am bothered, so here’s hoping something extraordinary comes of this.
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