You know those wacky stories you see on the black and white covers of Weekly World News while at the grocery store or news stand? Did you ever think, "That would make a cool tv show or movie," or wondered why the ever popular Bat Boy hasn't gotten his own film? Well, CAA and Dreamworks were thinking the same thing. WWN has signed a representation deal with CAA, and DreamWorks is developing a TV show based on the front page oddities.
Founded in 1979, making its mark with stories ranging from government conspiracies and supernatural phenomenon, to aliens and Elvis sightings, the tongue-in-cheek tabloid has become an american staple.
The rights to the 30 plus creations being taken out to the open market coincide with the supermarket tabloid's 30th Anniversary. WWN CEO Neil McGinness tells THR that the revival comes at a perfect time:
"You're seeing an embrace of the fringe," he said, pointing to such TV hits as Lost, Heroes and Fringe. "Zombies were big two years ago. Vampires are the rage this year. And we think 2010 will be Bat Boy's year."
He also cites that the firms characters are different from superheroes because they are "cuddly but dangerous," and points out that fans have uploaded more Bat Boy images on the Internet than Scooby-Doo pictures. McGinnes added:
"I saw [WWN] as a mini-Marvel. And I wanted to take the focus off the page and into film and TV entertainment, theater, comic books and merchandise."
DreamWorks Television co-president Darryl Frank agrees saying:
"Iconic subject matter like this lends itself to adaptation for television."
Comic-books that will explore these characters deeper, a Bat Boy autobiography, an iPhone app, assorted merchandise and even a Bat Boy musical are currently in the works or already out as well.
Having never read a single page past the cover of WWN, yet somehow knowing all of these characters, I have to agree with the McGinness and Dreamworks. I don't know if the novelty of the characters will last though. But going the comic-book route first may help develop these characters into something more than just a gag.
What do you think of Weekly World News selling the right to their characters?
Bonus: i09 as dug up a bunch of hilarious covers of WWN, and we've posted them below in a gallery.
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