The Dead Boy Detectives are returning to HBO Max with a new series but will look different than on Doom Patrol as the characters have been recast.
HBO Max has cast the pilot for Dead Boy Detectives and has recast the characters from Doom Patrol. Introduced in Sandman #25 in 1991 by writer Neil Gaiman and artist Matt Wagner, the Dead Boy Detectives follow two ghost children, Charles Rowland and Edward Paine, who, instead of going to the afterlife, decide to remain on Earth and solve crimes. The characters have been lesser-known in the DC pantheon, but they have been set to get a big audience in recent years.
The characters made their live-action screen debut in season 3 of Doom Patrol, where the Dead Boy Detectives alongside their human medium, Crystal Palace, helped save the Doom Patrol from the afterlife. The episode featured Sabastian Croft as Edward Paine and Ty Tennant as Charles Rowland, with actress Madalyn Horcher in the role of Crystal. The episode ended with Doom Patrol member Dorothy leaving with the Dead Boy Detectives, setting up a potential spin-off series.
According to Variety, Dead Boy Detectives has officially cast its pilot for HBO Max, and the characters have been recast from the Doom Patrol episode. Jayden Revri (The Lodge) will play Charles Rowland while George Rexstrew will make his screen debut as Edward Paine, and Kassius Nelson (Last Night in Soho) will star as Crystal Palace. Other cast members include Alexander Calvert (Supernatural) as Thomas The Cat King; Briana Cuoco (Harley Quinn) as Jenny, described as a mildly punk butcher and a confidant of Crystal Palace; Jenn Lyon (Justified) as Esther, described as a witch obsessed with youth and immortality; and Yuyu Kitamura as Niko, a boarding school student intent on joining the Dead Boy Detectives agency, who now lives above Jenny’s butcher shop. Warner Bros. and HBO Max did not comment on why the roles were recast.
With the series recast, it could suggest that Dead Boy Detectives could take place in another part of the DC Multiverse. While the cast of Doom Patrol first appeared in Titans, the characters’ personalities were drastically different in their own show, which was explained as taking place in another universe during Crisis on Infinite Earths. Dead Boy Detectives will maintain some connections to the versions introduced in Doom Patrol as the series creator Jeremy Carver is an executive producer on Dead Boy Detectives, and Ruth Connell will reprise her role as the demon Night Nurse who appeared in Doom Patrol.
Dead Boy Detectives is one of many adaptations of Neil Gaiman’s work at DC Comics that has been adapted. The long-awaited adaptation of Sandman is finally arriving on Netflix, which, given the Dead Boy Detectives originated in that comic series, another incarnation of the characters could appear on the Netflix series. Netflix also recently wrapped Lucifer, which was adapted from a comic series that was itself a spin-off of Sandman, and a new incarnation of Lucifer played by Gwendoline Christie will appear in the Sandman series. The Dead Boy Detectives could also be laying the groundwork for other occult-led DC projects on HBO Max like the upcoming Constantine series or Madame Xanadu.
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