James Wan’s Atomic Monster is teaming with Italian comic book publisher Sergio Bonelli Editore to create a ten-episode English-language series based on Tiziano Sclavi’s long-running paranormal series ‘Dylan Dog’. In its native Italy, ‘Dylan Dog’ is the second-best-selling comic, selling 120,000 copies each month. The series has been continuously published since 1986. In the US, it was reprinted by Dark Horse in 2017. Epicenter Comics subsequently published a new English-language version. Atomic Monster is now seeking writers for the screenplay.
Sergio Bonelli Editore president Davide Bonelli stated:
“James Wan and Atomic Monster are masters of the horror genre and have a proven sensibility on how best to adapt comics to the screen. We are so thrilled to have this dream team working on one of our most important characters.”
The story itself is set in Great Britain, and follows its titular hero who battles monsters, ghosts, vampires, werewolves and zombies. Dog is accompanied by his sidekick Groucho, a Groucho Marx impersonator who believes he is the real Groucho. He is also assisted by Inspector Bloch, his former supervisor from when he worked at Scottland Yard.
Bonelli has set up its own production studio, Bonelli Entertainment, in order to have a hands-on role. Previously, Hyde Park Entertainment licensed ‘Dylan Dog’ to produce the 2011 movie ‘Dylan Dog: Dead of Night’ starring Brandon Routh in the title role. That film was hoped to launch a franchise, but it flopped at the box office, earning just $4 million on a production budget of $20 million.
In that adaptation, the setting was switched to New Orleans, LA instead of London. The film also substituted a different sidekick, Marcus Deckler, played by Sam Huntington.
Prior to that, Sclavi’s 1983 novel ‘Dellamorte Dellamore’ (‘Cemetary Man’ in English) was adapted into a film in 1994. Though not officially a Dylan Dog story– Rupert Everett portrayed the main character, named Francesco Dellamorte– it treads a lot of the same territory and Everett strongly resembles the character Dylan Dog, as drawn in the comics. The film ‘Cemetary Man’ was not made for the American audience, and it was not released here until 1996.
Bonelli also plans to collaborate with DC Comics on a series of books in which characters from both publishers interact.
This project is in its earliest stages, so check back for updates as they arrive.