DC’s ‘Dead Boy Detectives’ Moves from HBO Max to Netflix  

Dead Boy Detectives is moving platforms.

The DC drama based on the Neil Gaiman and Matt Wagner comics has been sold from HBO Max, the Warner Bros. Discovery-backed streamer that developed the show, to Netflix. Producers Warner Bros. Television shopped the drama after sources say the series didn’t fit with the new chapter of content that DC executives James Gunn and Peter Safran are building for the comic book powerhouse. That plan includes five inter-connected shows that will live alongside Peacemaker on HBO Max. Also contributing to the show’s move between platforms is the fact that HBO Max would not have been able to market the show until 2024, with execs at the streamer blessing producers to take the show out elsewhere.

Reps for Netflix, Warners and Berlanti did not immediately respond to  ‘s request for comment.

Dead Boy Detectives joins the fellow Greg Berlanti-produced drama You at Netflix after Warners — where the prolific producer is based with a rich overall deal — shopped the latter following its failure to cut through on basic cable network Lifetime. You now ranks as one of Netflix’s most popular scripted originals.

The Flight Attendant creator Steve Yockey adapted Dead Boy Detectives from the comics and serves as showrunner alongside Beth Schwartz (Arrow) on the series from Warners and Berlanti Productions. George Rexstrew and Jayden Revri play dead British teenagers Edwin Payne and Charles Rowland in the series that is described as “a fresh take on a ghost story that explores loss, grief and death through the lens of Edwin Payne and Charles Rowland … and their very alive friend, Crystal Palace. It’s a lot like a vintage detective series — only darker and on acid.” Kassius Nelson (Last Night in Soho) plays Crystal, with Briana Cuoco, Ruth Connell (who reprises her role as Night Nurse from HBO Max’s since canceled Doom Patrol), Yuyu Kitamura and Jenn Lyon rounding out the cast.

Yockey, Doom Patrol’s Jeremy Carver, Schwartz, Berlanti, Berlanti Productions partner Sarah Schechter and the banner’s head of TV Leigh London Redman executive produce. Lee Toland Krieger directed the pilot.

Gunn and Safran recently unveiled “Chapter 1” in their plan to better integrate DC’s film and TV universe in a model that echoes what Berlanti built with The CW’s suite of DC heroes including Arrow, The Flash, Superman & Lois and several others. The DC slate includes five feature films and five series for HBO Max. Included in the latter is a spinoff of Gunn’s Peacemaker series revolving around EGOT winner Viola Davis’ Amanda Waller. That series, coincidentally, will be written by Carver.

Dead Boy Detectives is the latest DC series to be impacted by the arrival of Gunn and Safran at the comic book company. HBO Max has canceled DC dramas Pennyworth as well as Berlanti’s Doom Patrol and Titans. Berlanti, who recently renewed his nine-figure overall deal with Warners, is not expected to play a role in anything involving the new DC going forward. He is no longer attached to his long in the works Green Lantern TV series, which Gunn and Safran are revisiting with a more Earth-bound take compared to the big-budget space story Berlanti had been working on for years.

In addition to Dead Boy Detectives, Berlanti continues to exec produce The CW’s Superman & Lois and the network’s Gotham Knights series that bows in March.

The move of Dead Boy Detectives illustrates the importance of continuing to sell shows to third-party buyers for the Channing Dungey-led Warner Bros. TV studio as being an arms dealer remains a top priority for WBD.

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