Dead Boy Detectives Adaptation Gets Huge News From Neil Gaiman

The streaming series adapting Dead Boy Detectives has been confirmed by the comic's writer and creator to be currently in production.

By Phillip Moyer | Published

doom patrol spinoff
The Dead Boy Detectives in Doom Patrol

Neil Gaiman is such an iconic writer that it’s easy to forget many of his comics were written for DC, including Sandman and The Children’s Crusade. So when James Gunn took over DC and shook things up, some people were worried that the upcoming Dead Boy Detectives show, based on characters from those two comics, might be on the chopping block. However, Neil Gaiman has confirmed that production of the Sandman spinoff is already underway. 

Gaiman confirmed the continued production of Dead Boy Detectives by retweeting writer Toby Litt, who wrote the comic book series based on Neil Gaiman’s original characters. The tweet confirmed that the show is currently in the process of being filmed. Neil Gaiman, helpfully, added that the show is “so good.”

Dead Boy Detectives will follow the ghosts of two teenage boys who were originally introduced in the 25th issue of Sandman, after Lucifer gave up the throne of hell and expelled all of the souls — many of which returned to earth. The rather twisted story showed one of the boys, Charles Rowland, dying at the hands of a trio of ghostly bullies but then joining the ghost of Edwin Paine after his death.

The seven-issue comic book crossover The Children’s Crusade follows Charles and Edwin, the so-called “Dead Boy Detectives,” who discover a place called “Free Country” when investigating the disappearance of several children from a small village called Flaxdown. The comic crossed over with other titles in DC’s Vertigo imprint, including Animal ManSwamp Thing, and Doom Patrol.

The characters later got their own Dead Boy Detectives miniseries, and then another 12-issue series written by author Toby Litt and comic book artist Mark Buckingham in 2014. The characters returned again in 2022 with the series The Sandman Universe: Dead Boy Detectives.

Ty Tennant and Sebastian Croft as the Dead Boy Detectives in Doom Patrol

The origin story of Charles and Edwin has not yet been shown in the Sandman TV series, which has so far only covered plot points from the first 18 comics. However, since Sandman is a Netflix series, and HBO ordered a pilot for the Dead Boy Detectives series before Sandman ever aired, it makes sense that HBO might not care about whether Sandman ever gets around to introducing Charles and Edwin.

News of Dead Boy Detectives‘ ongoing production makes the series one of the few planned DC projects to survive Discovery’s merger with Warner Bros., parent company of HBO. Other surviving projects include Shazam 2,  The Flash, and Aquaman 2. Meanwhile, films like Batgirl and Man of Steel 2 have been canceled, along with Black Adam 2 and a planned Constantine TV series.

The Dead Boy Detectives series is being created by Supernatural producer Steve Yockey. Charles will be played by Jayden Revri, previously best known for his role as Noah in the TV Series The Lodge. Edwin will be played by George Rexstrew, a previously-unknown actor whose only other IMDB credit is in the upcoming Jessica Hof short film Findhorn Case 31.08.18.

The series’ release date has not yet been announced. But with filming underway, keep an eye out for a firm release date sometime soon.