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WIRE Buzz: Neil Gaiman's rejected Marvel 1602 show; Flora & Ulysses starts filming; more

By Josh Weiss
Marvel 1602 #7

We know what you crave: another edition of WIRE Buzz, where we collect the biggest breaking news in the world of genre development, casting, writing, and more.

This afternoon, we've got the latest on Neil Gaiman, Disney+, and South African horror.


Riding high on the success of Amazon's Good Omens miniseries, writer Neil Gaiman revealed via Twitter that he pitched a television adaptation of Marvel 1602 last year, which Marvel Television was not interested in making. 

Running between November of 2003 and June of 2004, the limited series (drawn by Andy Kubert and colored by Richard Isanove) imagined an alternate world in which Marvel's most iconic heroes existed within the context of 17th-century England. The eight-part comic was so popular, that it spawned three follow-up books: 1602: New WorldMarvel 1602: Fantastick Four, and Spider-Man: 1602.

"I asked Marvel TV about me making 1602 last year, but they weren't interested. Such a pity," wrote the best-selling fantasy author in a reply to a fan who, after seeing Good Omens, wished in a tweet that Gaiman would pitch a 1602 series for Disney+.

Despite Disney's rejection of the idea, there is always a chance for the 1602 concept to make its way into Disney+'s animated What If? series, which will be produced by Marvel Studios and explore alternate outcomes in the Marvel Universe.

Disney+ launches Nov. 12.


Speaking of Disney+, the streaming service's movie adaptation of Kate DiCamillo's book Flora & Ulysses just started production in Vancouver today, SYFY WIRE has confirmed.

In her feature film debut, Matilda Lawler plays Flora, a 10-year-old who befriends a squirrel with superpowers. Alyson Hannigan (How I Met Your Mother) and Ben Schwartz (Sonic the Hedgehog) will be playing her parents.

Flora & Ulysses

Danny Pudi (Community) and Benjamin Evans Ainsworth (like Lawler, he's also a newcomer) round out the cast for the project, which is being helmed by Lena Khan (The Tiger Hunter). Brad Copeland (Ferdinand) penned the screenplay.


Writer-director Harold Holscher is set to unleash an ancient terror in 8: A South African Horror Story, and now we have the first skin-crawling trailer for the film. In it, Lazarus (Tsamano Sebe) unleashes his dark secrets on an unsuspecting Ziel family. As it transpires, Lazarus is a damned man, forced to collect souls for all eternity after giving up his own daughter's soul. However, his ticket out of such a terrible fate may be William (Breytenbach) and Sarah (Inge Beckmann) Ziel's niece, Mary (Keita Luna).

Watch the trailer below:

Inspired to write the film after the tragic passing of a close friend in a car accident, Holscher used 8 to mix horror with African mythology, particularly what the culture has to say about death. 

"I heard an amazing story that in the Zulu culture, there is tradition that when a loved dies far away from the family, a Sangoma takes a branch from the Buffalo Thorn tree. He captures the soul at the place where the body died and from that day up to the burial, this branch should be watched over by each member of the family," wrote the filmmaker in the official press kit for the project. "This gives everyone a chance for their last respects and final goodbyes. Upon arrival the homestead, the branch is presented to two goats. If the goat does not eat it, the soul escaped somewhere. If the one goat eats it and the other refuses it, the one that refused it is slaughtered at the gate and its chyme (undigested food) is used to cleanse all the family present, while the one that eats it is now believed to be carrying the spirit within and is led to the ancestral hut where it is sacrificed in the name of the ancestors and the meat is placed at the umsamo, the place where the ancestors are believed to reside. In this way, the spirit reunites with their ancestors. This is where the inspiration for 8 was born."

8 A South African Horror Story

There is currently no release date yet for the movie.