Brad Peyton

Development: Rampage director adapting Skyward; Disney prepping animated supernatural show; Alien TV series?

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Jul 5, 2018

An adaptation of a comic book from Lucifer's showrunner lands a director and a studio, Disney is rolling out a new show about a young wizard-in-training, and Fox is rumored to be taking the Alien franchise in a fresh direction, all in today's round-up of development news.

First on our list, a comic book called Skyward, penned by Lucifer showrunner Joe Henderson, is potentially headed to the big screen after Sony Pictures has snapped up the film rights. According to Variety, Henderson will write the script himself and executive-produce, while Rampage director Brad Peyton intends to get behind the camera.

Published by Image Comics and set to run for 15 issues (Issue #4 is due out July 18), Skyward is set 20 years after an event that has dropped the Earth's gravity to a small percentage of what it was. With the world adjusting to the new reality, the tale follows a young woman who was born after the event and only knows life in a low-g environment, while her scientist father works on a risky plan to bring gravity back to normal.

Peyton, who is also producing with his partner Jeff Fierson, said, "Jeff and I are focused on making event films — regardless of budget or scope. Skyward is a big one. We’re very excited to deliver on what an anti-gravity movie should deliver on and be working with Joe Henderson on this."

There's no word yet on when production will begin. Henderson, meanwhile, also has his hands full with the next season of Lucifer, which was saved from cancellation by Netflix.


Sadie Sparks

Credit: Cyber Group Studios

Next, Deadline reports that the Disney Channel will roll out a 52-part animated series called Sadie Sparks in 2019. The show, produced in collaboration between Ireland's Brown Bag Films and Paris company Cyber Group Studios, follows a 14-year-old girl who trains to become a wizard when she learns she has magical powers, with the help of an old rabbit named Gilbert from the Magical Realm.

Sadie's world, in which she must juggle both the daily reality of high school and her apprenticeship in wizardry, will be rendered in CG, while the Magical Realm will utilize 2D animation. Sadie and Gilbert can pass between the two via a magician's hat.

A young English actress named Georgia Lock has been tapped to voice Sadie, while the curmudgeonly Gilbert will be voiced by comedian Rufus Hound. Other characters will be voiced by actors from shows like The Evermoor Chronicles (Sammy Moore), Outnumbered (Tyger Drew-Honey), Peppa Pig (Morwenna Banks), The Casual Vacancy (Rufus Jones), and more.


Alien Xenomorph

Credit: 20th Century Fox

Finally, this last item falls unquestionably into the "speculation" file but is worth keeping an eye on: Fox is reportedly developing an idea for an Alien-related TV series as a way to revive the currently moribund franchise.

With a fourth Ridley Scott-directed film off the table for now and Neill Blomkamp's proposed Alien 5 also dead in the water following the tepid response to Alien: Covenant, Omega Underground claims that a series set in the Alien universe is in the early stages of development.

Take it with a grain of salt, but the report says several reliable sources have relayed this information, with an announcement possibly timed to the 40th anniversary of the franchise in 2019 (the original Alien was released on June 22, 1979).

Two X factors are where the proposed series would end up — Fox is said to be mulling either a premiere on FX or pitching the show to a streaming platform — and how this would be affected by the proposed Disney purchase of Fox's film and TV assets, which would put the xenomorph firmly under the control of the Mouse.

Once again, take this one with a big grain of salt, but since Alien on the big screen seems to have been shoved out the airlock (for now), a TV reboot or offshoot might make the most corporate sense. The studio might even be looking for new creators to get involved with it.