IDW Wants to Make a Dirk Gently TV Show… And Oh, Yeah, a Comic
IDW, which I think of as a comic publisher, has a film and TV development arm called IDW Entertainment that launched in November 2013. Today, they announced an option in connection with Ideate Media (established in April 2013 by the strategic investment arm of the Government of Malaysia which “develops and seeks out stories, talent and properties suitable to engage global audiences, especially, though not exclusively, stories with Asian elements, settings, and themes”) to turn Douglas Adams’ Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency novels into a TV show. They have “the intent of securing a direct-to-series commitment.”
(Nowhere in this press release does anyone mention that there’s already been a Dirk Gently TV series starring Stephen Mangan from the BBC in 2012. It only ran three episodes, and you can buy it on DVD, as shown here.)
The pilot will be written by Max Landis, son of director John Landis, who has previously written the superpowered Chronicle and an upcoming remake of Frankenstein with Daniel Radcliffe and James McAvoy. He gets the following lengthy quote about his goals:
“Alongside the obvious yada yada I’m a lifelong fan, Long Dark Teatime of the Soul (the second Dirk Gently novel) is one of the best books ever. Douglas Adams is a visionary who forever changed the way science fiction is written and talked about and even thought about and even the way real actual science is thought about and without whom our culture would be noticeably different for the worse, I’d also just like to say holy crap, it’s Dirk Gently. This is any writer’s ultimate project, and in the current TV space, it fits ridiculously well. Imagine a playground where you could come with any mystery, no matter how improbable, convoluted, or totally insane and then, simply by finding the right connections, you could tie it all down to one man, one private eye. If you’re familiar with the property, you know: there’s no freaking rules. Ancient gods? Sure. Larceny and petty crimes? Of course. Extra-dimensional aliens? I mean, probably; as long as you can make it funny, Dirk’s on the case. This is a dream project of mine, no joke, and I absolutely positively couldn’t be happier.”
Near the bottom of the press release, as an afterthought, comes the line, “In addition to the television series, IDW Publishing & Ideate Media will develop a series of Dirk Gently comic books for release next spring.” Those could be fun, depending on who writes and draws them.
As always, an option means we may or may not ever see this project on TV, depending on whether anyone else wants to pump money into it. Update: The comic is scheduled to launch May 2015.