Disney Plus Announces Plans For Live-Action ‘Gargoyles’ Series Helmed By ‘Annabelle’ Series Writer Gary Dauberman
In an odd bit of poetry considering how the series’ protagonists want nothing more than to come to life, Disney has officially announced that a live-action Gargoyle series is now in development for their eponymous streaming service.
First unveiled to the public on October 16th courtesy of an exclusive from The Hollywood Reporter, the series will reportedly be produced by The Conjuring universe architects James Wan and Gary Dauberman’s Atomic Monster production company, with the latter, best known for writing the Annabelle and The Nun series of films, serving as its writer, producer, and showrunner.
Currently considered to be in “early development” by Disney, the production has yet to provide any further details regarding its production team, cast, direction, or release date have yet to be revealed.
Created by an unspecified team of creatives, among whose ranks were such noteworthy talents as Batman: The Animated Series writer Michael Reaves and Young Justice creator Greg Weisman, Gargoyles centers on the few remaining survivors of the Wyvern Clan, a group of the titular creatures who fled their home in ancient Scotland after its human inhabitants, giving in to their own fears of the unknown, moved to eradicate them from the land.
Though the humans managed to slaughter many of the gargoyles by shattering them to pieces while they were rendered immobile during their daytime ‘stone sleep’, a small group led by the clan’s leader, Goliath (Keith David), manages to escape death only to succumb to their enemies’ back-up plan: a magical spell which curses the afflicted to sleep until their castle home “rises above the clouds”.
This goal eventually accomplished when New York billionaire David Xanatos (Jonathan Frakes) builds a skyscraper and places their home atop its roof, Goliath and his fellow survivors – Hudson (Ed Asner), Brooklyn (Jeff Bennett), Lexington (Thom Advox-Hernandez), Broadway (Bill Gaderbakke), and their pet Bronx, all of whom took their modern day monikers from various city landmarks – awaken to find themselves in a world completely unfamiliar to them.
Understandably confused and also seeking to use their supernatural abilities for good, the gargoyles proceed to receive assistance in acclimating from police detective Elisa Maza (Salli Richardson), who helps to both teach the newcomers the ways of the world and direct their powers towards the villains who deserve it.
Originally running from 1994-1997 for a total of three seasons, the series first two seasons would receive critical and commercial success, with Gargoyles to this day still receiving mention amidst conversations and debates regarding the West’s best animated productions.
However, its last season would not be privy to that same acclaim, as thanks to a combination of many of its original writers having moved on to new projects thanks to their belief that the series would soon face cancellation and a surprise renewal from Disney based on their need to fill the then-newly-acquired ABC’s Saturday morning cartoon block, Gargoyles‘ third season, subtitled The Goliath Chronicles, has largely gone down in history as an absolute disaster.
Though the property lay dormant for the next 10 years, the Gargoyles license would eventually be picked up by independent comic book publisher Slave Labor Graphics, who in turn announced that they would be publishing a new book written by the aforementioned Weisman which would ignore The Goliath Chronicles and serve as the series’ actual third season.
Sadly, this endeavor would come to a crashing halt two years later, as Slave Labor Graphics found it too expensive to keep up with Disney’s increasing licensing fees. As such, this attempt to revive Goliath and crew was brought to a close after only 18 core issues and a six-issue mini-series, Bad Guys.
However, roughly 16 years later, the property would be revived once again, this time courtesy of a new comic book series published by Dynamite Entertainment.
Written once again by Weisman, the aptly titled Gargoyles: Season 4 tells a brand new story spinning out of the continuity introduced in Slave Labor Graphics’ short-lived series.
Thankfully for fans of the winged-heroes, it seems this attempt to bring Gargoyles back to life has taken, as not only is the debut revival title still ongoing (albeit coming to a close next month), but Dynamite Comics has also greenlit the publishing of Gargoyles: Dark Ages, a spin-off book focused exclusively on the series’ resident Angel of the Night, Demona.