Despite Cancellation, 1899 Creators Are Reteaming With Netflix For An A+ Horror Adaptation
Netflix pulled the plug on a lot of its series in 2022, and few cancellations were more disappointing than those cutting short its genre-heavy fare, from Archive 81 (which earned my grief) to First Kill to The Midnight Club. Another gone-too-soon original was 1899, the mind-boggling, reality-twisting historical mystery from Dark creators Baran bo Odar and Jantje Friese, which didn’t get a chance to follow up on its confusion-laden ending before being sunk at sea. Thankfully, though, the pair have another major horror project heading to the streaming service, as they’ll be handling a live-action adaptation of the hugely popular franchise-branching comic series Something Is Killing the Children, from writer James Tynion IV and artist Werther Dell'Edera.
As unveiled by comic publisher Boom! Studios, which is also behind the spinoff House of Slaughter, the upcoming episodic take on Something Is Killing the Children will be developed by Baran bo Odar and Jantje Friese, who will both take on both writing and directing duties. The project stems from a new overall deal that the pair have signed with Netflix, so it’s easy to assume they aren’t still harboring too many hard feelings over 1899’s demise. Plus, with an already built-in audience, there’s the hope that SIKTC can last at least as long as Locke & Key, which was canceled at the three-season mark.
For those unfamiliar, the basic premise is centered around the town of Archer’s Peak, where a monstrous threat is discovered once children start to go missing, with the ones that return claiming to have witnessed impossible creatures and horrors. The unassuming protagonist is a badass, blade-wielding mystery unto herself who goes by the name Erica Slaughter, and she is one of the only hopes left in keeping Archer’s Peak — along with the rest of the outside world — safe from violent doom.
OTHER COMICS OF INTEREST
James Tynion IV: DC's Batman, DC Vs. Vampires, The Nice House on the Lake, The Department of Truth, Memetic, The Joker
Werther Dell'Edera: Loveless, The Crow: Memento Mori, He Who Fights With Monsters, The Voices of Water
It’s a blast of a read, and has already taken the story into unexpected places thanks to the spinoff House of Slaughter, and the promise of more layers yet to be uncovered within this reality. Clearly the comic-reading public agrees, as Something Is Killing the Children is currently one of the most acclaimed and popular original series in recent years, selling millions of copies and earning multiple awards since its release, including the 2022 Eisner for Best Continuing Series.
Serving as co-executive producers alongside bo Odar and Friese are the comic’s creators themselves: James Tynion IV, winner of the Best Writer Eisner Award for two years running for SIKTC, and artist Werther Dell’Edera. I’m personally optimistic for this project to lead to Tynion himself signing some kind of deal with Netflix that somehow leads to his other creations getting live-action adaptations. (Some are already in varying forms of development, to be sure, but I want it all.)
Here's what the two creators had to say in response to the huge Netflix news:
James Tynion IV: Bo and Jante have spent the last few years making some of the best genre television in the world,” said Something is Killing the Children co-creator James Tynion IV. “I couldn’t be more thrilled that they’re working to bring Erica Slaughter to life.
Werther Dell’Edera: I cannot imagine anyone more exciting than Baran Odar and Jantje Friese. Their storytelling, direction, combined with Something is Killing the Children… wow! I can’t wait to meet their version of Erica.
I'm already dream-casting Erica Slaughter in my mind, with established Netflix stars like Stranger Things Sadie Sink easy to imagine in the role. Or, hell, even Stranger Things' Priah Ferguson, who would already be used to playing a character named Erica.
Stay tuned for more on Something Is Killing the Children, which recently released its 29th issue, with Boom! Studios set to publish its Volume 6 trade collection on June 20, 2023.