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Universal lines up TV projects based on IDW comics, including Scott Snyder's 'Dark Spaces: Wildfire'

Prepare yourself for wildfires and a reclusive musical superstar.

By Josh Weiss
Ballad for Sophie and Dark Spaces: Wildfire

Universal has officially partnered with IDW Publishing for a pair of upcoming television projects based on hit comic book series. Universal Content Productions — which co-produces genre juggernauts like Resident Alien and Chucky — is currently lighting up an adaptation of Scott Snyder and Hayden Sherman's Dark Spaces: Wildfire. The show is set to follow a group of incarcerated female firefighters who plan a brazen heist while trying to contain a raging wildfire in the hills of California.

Universal International Studios is all set to dive into the world of music with a take on the Eisner-nominated Ballad for Sophie. Created by Portuguese musician Filipe Melo and artist Juan Cavia, the comic explores the life of a reclusive musical superstar who is coaxed out seclusion by an intrepid journalist. What follows is "an astonishing saga of rivalry and regret, starring child prodigies, bitter old men, beautiful dancers, demonic managers, Nazi commandants, compassionate nuns and lifesaving animals," reads the synopsis.

"The IDW and Top Shelf originals represent some of the most creative, artistic and unique stories to hit the marketplace," IDW Executive Vice President of Entertainment, Paul Davidson, said in a statement Tuesday. "Not only were we excited to share this amazing slate with the industry, but we are even more thrilled to join forces with these great partners to bring them to audiences. This is just the first step in tapping our robust library of originals and adapting them into compelling series, feature films and podcasts with the industry’s leading storytellers and content creators."

"At IDW, our commitment is to continue to build upon our legacy by having our Entertainment and Publishing divisions work in tandem to bring a wide range of projects to the masses across multiple platforms," continued Ezra Rosensaft, CEO, IDW Media Holdings. "This provides an unprecedented opportunity for our creative community to expand their IP across numerous verticals. We are also thrilled to see that some of our new Originals, launched as recently as April, are already resonating within the industry."

The publisher has also joined forces with Warner Bros. Television for an adaptation of James Albon's (A Shining Beacon) The Delicacy, which centers around an ambitious restaurateur who discovers a new and irresistible specie of mushroom. HBO Max, on the other hand, will serve as home to a small screen translation of Dan Berry and David Gaffney's Rivers, which is described as "a whimsical and ambitious portrait of human connection in the age of digital fragmentation."

IDW's fifth and final TV undertaking falls under the purview of Ánima Studios, which has landed the animation rights to Brutal Nature. Created by Luciano Saracino and Ariel Olivetti, the comic follows a young man in pre-Columbian South America who strikes back at the encroaching Spanish empire with a collection of masks that allow him to transform into various beasts and monsters.

“We’ve always been big fans of what Ánima has been doing in the animation space, so we are thrilled with their passion for partnering on Brutal Nature,” Davidson remarked last week when the deal with Ánima was first announced. “Their sensibilities will truly expand the amazing world that Luciano Saracino and Ariel Olivetti created.”

“Working with IDW to develop such a unique project is really exciting,” added the studio's COO, José C. García de Letona. “Brutal Nature will help us keep building up high quality stories with a Latin sensibility that can be enjoyed all over the world and we can’t think of a better partner to achieve it.”