Netflix may have lost its Marvel universe shows, but they have another burgeoning comic-book-based universe, thanks to creator Neil Gaiman. As officially confirmed by the streamer as part of the Geeked Week event, Dead Boy Detectives is coming to Netflix. And not only that, it’s officially part of the Sandman Universe.
First introduced in DC Comics/Vertigo’s The Sandman #25, written by Gaiman with art by Matt Wagner, per the title Charles Rowland and Edwin Paine are two ghostly boys who solve mysteries involving the afterlife. They’ve had numerous appearances in comics since then including their own spinoff title. And previously, the characters appeared on screen in multiple episodes of the Max (formerly HBO Max) series Doom Patrol.
Initially, Dead Boy Detectives would seem to have been a spinoff of Doom Patrol, particularly as it comes from Doom Patrol showrunner Jeremy Carver, and Steve Yockey who wrote an episode of the series featuring Charles and Edwin. However, at some point in development, it became its own thing, with a brand-new cast. It also got cut from HBO Max, its original destination, during the changeover to Max, as well as the changeover from the previous iteration of the DC Comics-based series to one run by James Gunn.
Subsequently, the show was picked up by Netflix, which — given The Sandman is already a big hit there with a second season in the offing — seems like good news for the Dead Boys’ futures. Here’s the official synopsis, per Netflix:
Do you have a pesky ghost haunting you? Has a demon stolen your core memories? You may want to ring the Dead Boy Detectives. Meet Edwin Payne (George Rexstrew) and Charles Rowland (Jayden Revri), “the brains” and “the brawn” behind the Dead Boy Detectives agency. Teenagers born decades apart who find each other only in death, Edwin and Charles are best friends and ghosts… who solve mysteries. They will do anything to stick together – including escaping evil witches, Hell and Death herself. With the help of a clairvoyant named Crystal (Kassius Nelson) and her friend Niko (Yuyu Kitamura), they are able to crack some of the mortal realm’s most mystifying paranormal cases.
As part of The Sandman Universe for Netflix and based on the beloved comic series from Neil Gaiman, DEAD BOY DETECTIVES was developed for television by Steve Yockey, who wrote the first episode and serves as showrunner alongside Beth Schwartz as co-showrunner. Greg Berlanti, Yockey, Schwartz, Jeremy Carver, Sarah Schechter, Leigh London Redman and Gaiman serve as executive producers of the series from Berlanti Productions and Warner Bros. Television.
The eight-episode series does not currently have an announced premiere date, but will likely debut some time in 2024. You can watch a teaser trailer and check out two new images from the series below.