Graphic novels don’t always translate when brought to life for TV or the movies, as the underwhelming box office for Kick-Ass and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World made pretty clear. That said, the success of X-Men and Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight-powered Batman reboot has inspired Hollywood to keep trying. The latest example: Vulture hears Steven Spielberg, via DreamWorks TV, is teaming with mega-hyphenates Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci (Transformers, Hawaii Five-O, Fringe) and writer/exec producer Josh Friedman (Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles) to turn Joe Hill’s Locke & Key comic series into a major TV franchise. Oh, and did we mention that Hill is Stephen King’s son?
First released in 2008, Locke & Key revolves around three kids who end up watching over a secret, spooky New England mansion filled with mystical doors that transport them to different worlds and give them special powers (like turning into a ghost). Dimension had purchased the TV and film rights to the IDW Publishing series back in 2008, not long after the first installment came out (several installments have followed, including one released earlier this month). While there had been talk in the blogosphere of Kurtzman and Orci turning Locke and Key into a feature, the project is now moving ahead as a TV series, with Friedman on board to write and produce. Kurtzman and Orci recently signed a big overall deal with 20th Century Fox TV, so the studio will end up producing with Spielberg’s DreamWorks TV (mirroring their current collaboration on Spielberg’s fall 2011 Fox dinosaur drama Terra Nova). There’s no broadcast or cable outlet attached yet, but based on the idea for the show and the fact that 20th is involved, the Fox network certainly seems like a logical home.
One thing’s for sure: With the star wattage attached, it wouldn’t be surprising if some network steps up big-time and makes a major commitment to Locke and Key.
UPDATE: As expected, Vulture has learned that the Fox network is in discussions to develop Locke and Key with 20th and DreamWorks TV.