February 27, 2023

‘Dead Boy Detectives’ Netflix Neil Gaiman DC Series: What We Know So Far

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    In an unexpected move, the upcoming HBO Max series Dead Boy Detectives is no longer part of HBO Max and will be distributed globally by Netflix instead. The series, based on the Neil Gaiman and Matt Wagner DC comic of the same name, reportedly didn’t fit James Gunn’s new vision for the DCU and that opened the possibility for Netflix to pick it up instead.

    The Flight Attendant creator Steve Yockey adapted Dead Boy Detectives from the comics and serves as showrunner alongside Beth Schwartz (Arrow) on the series from Warners and Berlanti Productions. Yockey commented at the time of the original series announcement back in April 2022:

    “I’ve been obsessed with this comic for a long time, so it’s a true passion project. And Jeremy, Berlanti Productions, DC, WBTV, HBO Max — they’re all encouraging me to run with every wild, bizarre, and unsettling choice. The result is going to be really dark fun.”

    The series pilot is helmed by prominent TV director Lee Toland Krieger, whose credits include such Netflix titles as Shadow and BoneYouChilling Adventures of Sabrina and more.

    Dead Boy Detectives is produced by Greg Berlanti and will join YOU, another series of his at Netflix that didn’t perform well on its original network and had to be acquired by Netflix.

    This is another Netflix series involving Neil Gaiman after the mega-hit The Sandman from 2022, which was renewed for a second season.

    The movie of Dead Boy Detectives comes at a strange time for Warner Bros. Discovery (the parent company of DC Comics) who is trying to slash costs while also keeping its HBO Max competitive. It also comes at a time when DC is implementing a brand new plan with its DC Studios division.

    What’s the plot of Dead Boy Detectives?

    The detective duo of the dead boys Edwin and Charles first appeared in Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman #25 issue. Later on, they got their own “spinoff” comics.

    Here’s a description of their story in the comics:

    “Edwin Payne and Charles Rowland are no different than most boys. They love adventure, games and spending time outdoors. They’re curious about girls, curious about life and particularly curious when it comes to mysteries. You see, Edwin Paine and Charles Rowland happen to be two of the best detectives in England. Note that we didn’t say living in England. That’s because Edwin and Charles aren’t living in England. In fact, they’re not living at all. Edwin (died 1916) and Charles (died 1990) met their ends early in life. And that’s when things started getting interesting.

    Since their deaths, the young detectives have solved some of the most harrowing mysteries to hit the hallowed halls of St. Hilarion’s School for Boys. However, there’s one great mystery they haven’t yet cracked—the mystery of their own deaths. Now, in a gripping new series full of secrets and surprises, Edwin and Charles will begin unraveling the truth of their demise. But they won’t find it on their own. They’ll be helped by Crystal, a young girl with a gift for technology and a strange link to the undead. Together, this unlikely group of gumshoes will journey from the bustling streets of contemporary London to the virtual world of Japanese-influenced videogames to dangerous worlds perched somewhere between now and nevermore, all in a search for answers about life, death and all that comes after.”

    In a weird way, Netflix’s Dead Boy Detectives can be considered a spinoff of The Sandman. Only time will tell if Netflix chooses to do a crossover of sorts, perhaps in a single special episode or during one of the seasons.

    Here’s the logline for the Dead Boy Detectives series:

    “Dead Boy Detectives is a fresh take on a ghost story that explores loss, grief, and death through the lens of Edwin Payne and Charles Rowland…and their very alive friend, Crystal Palace. It’s a lot like a vintage detective series — only darker and on acid.”

    Who is cast in Dead Boy Detectives?

    George Rexstrew and Jayden Revri play the title characters, dead British teenagers Edwin Payne and Charles Rowland. Kassius Nelson (Last Night in Soho) plays Crystal; the series also stars Briana CuocoRuth Connell — who reprises her role as Night Nurse (HBO Max’s Doom Patrol), Yuyu Kitamura and Jenn Lyon.

    In HBO Max’s Doom Patrol, Edwin and Charles were portrayed by Sebastian Croft (Heartstopper, Hogwarts Legacy) and Ty Tennant (House of the Dragon).

    What’s the production status of Dead Boy Detectives?

    Filming for Dead Boy Detectives began back in November 2022 in Vancouver, Canada. At that time, production was expected to wrap by March 20, 2023 so they have approximately one more month of filming to go.

    How many episodes Dead Boy Detectives will have?

    It has been confirmed back in April 2022 by Variety that Dead Boy Detectives will have eight episodes, which is the standard series episode count.

    What’s the Netflix release date for Dead Boy Detectives?

    Netflix’s hasn’t announced the release date for Dead Boy Detectives, but given its production schedule that is expected to conclude this Spring, a late 2023 release seems possible, but 2024 sounds more likely and in line with how the streamer schedules its releases.

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