With Steven Soderbergh and Clive Owen’s period medical drama The Knick arriving next month, and series like Quarry, Blanco and Signal all on the way, Cinemax is taking big steps to establish itself as a premium cable network capable of creatively going toe-to-toe with competitors HBO and Showtime. Now, it’s investing in The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman by green-lighting a pilot for Outcast, based on Kirkman’s exorcism comic of the same name.
Kirkman, whose comic series The Walking Dead sparked the AMC ratings powerhouse, confirmed news of the pilot order on Twitter today, posting:
— Robert Kirkman (@RobertKirkman) July 25, 2014
Though Kirkman currently has multiple shows in various stages of development, Outcast marks his first pilot order. Interestingly, the comic version of Outcast has only released one issue to date, and the bidding war for a series adaptation began long before that issue hit stands. Both the comic-book series and the Cinemax adaptation will focus on “Kyle Barnes, who has been plagued by possession since he was a child. Now an adult, he embarks on a spiritual journey to find answers, but what he uncovers could mean the end of life on Earth as we know it.”
The script for the pilot will be penned by Kirkman himself (a first for the comic-book creator), who is also executive-producing with Circle of Confusion’s David Alpert (who worked with Kirman on The Walking Dead), Sue Naegle, Chris Black and Sharon Tal Yguado of Fox International Channels (which distributes The Walking Dead worldwide).
Outcast is just one of many promising projects in the works for Kirkman. He’s also prepping a Walking Dead spinoff for AMC, which will debut in 2015, an AMC adaptation of his comic Thief of Thieves (again collaborating with Alpert) and a Syfy series called Clone, based on the comic by David Schulner.