Torchwood's John Barrowman developing Heavy Metal story as TV miniseries

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Mar 5, 2015, 4:12 PM EST

John Barrowman already has a legion of sci-fi fans thanks to his work on Torchwood and Arrow — and now he’s expanding his reach with another fan-fave genre property.

Barrowman has signed on to executive-produce and star in an television miniseries based on author Erika Lewis’ story The 49th Key, which is featured in the latest issue of the cult fave sci-fi/fantasy comic magazine Heavy Metal. The project is being billed as one of those “event series” that have become so popular in recent years. No network seems to be attached at this point.

The story will run in a serialized format throughout this year, and is based on the 16th-century legend of Enochian magic, which tells of a secret language of angels. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the first chapter is “an expansive fantasy series that tells of a rogue archeologist and a young autistic and mute boy on a treacherous journey through England to bring the boy home. The boy turns out to be the key to a gateway between our world and that of Enochia, a magical society that exists below the Earth's surface, filled with fantasy creatures and highly advanced humans.”

Along with Barrowman, Heavy Metal's Jeff Krelitz and David Boxenbaum will executive-produce, with Dark Horse alum Jeremy Atkins as an associate producer. It’s a fascinating, ambitious pitch for a sci-fi series — and anything with Barrowman attached automatically gets our antennae up. We’ll be anxious to see how this one turns out.

The 49th Key debuted in issue 273 of Heavy Metal, which hit shelves this week.

(Via The Hollywood Reporter)