EXCL: Who is The Ferryman?

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Uncovering the origins of Dark Castle’s comic book

When the foundation of Dark Castle was first built by producers Joel Silver, Robert Zemeckis and Gil Adler, the production entity’s purpose was to house remakes based on the works of the late, great William Castle. Thus House on Haunted Hill was born, followed by Thirteen Ghosts. Dark Castle later veered from its mission producing originals and remakes not derived from Castle’s oeuvre with Ghost Ship, House of Wax and The Reaping. These films not only signaled a change in focus but a regime overhaul within Castle’s walls. Silver is still reigned as king, but a new batch of producers overseeing the label’s efforts stepped in.

Dark Castle, once a studio house of horror, is now “broadening its scope,” as Silver said during a panel discussion at the San Diego Comic-Con. It will continue its horror output, however, you can expect a handful of “violent and sexy” action films to mix things up. Silver’s brand is reaching into the four-color realm, too. The Ferryman, a joint comic book effort from Dark Castle and Wildstorm, will be shipped to stores on October 8th.

“Dark Castle generated the idea,” series writer Marc Andreyko tells ShockTillYouDrop.com. His credits include Friday the 13th: Pamela’s Tale and Manhunter. “I’ve known Erik Olsen and Joel’s company for years. Joel had been interested in the concept of the Ferryman and the River Styx. He wanted to do something contemporary with it, so that’s what I was given. From there, I brought to the table people selling their soul to the Devil. Eventually the Devil is going to collect on that so the Ferrymen carry the souls to hell.”

Illustrated by Jonathan Wayshack (cover artist on Lost Boys: Reign of Frogs), Ferryman unravels in a 5-issue mini-series. Set in present day, the narrative introduces the reader to Gideon Thorne – a tracker, or “Ferryman.” “He’s a cop who, in the ’70s, lost his wife to a serial killer. He winds up killing the serial killer in court and killing himself,” explains Andreyko. “In the morgue, the Devil says, you’re good at your job so if you work for me you’ll see your wife one more time.” Thorne takes the gig and spends his life collecting rogue souls, however, where issue number one picks up, “he’s quitting. The Devil says he’s got one more job for him and as they say, hilarity ensues,” Andreyko laughs.

The writer says creating the Ferryman world has been a comfortable one with little interference from Olsen at Dark Castle or Wildstorm editor Scott Peterson. “Their notes have been fantastic, they’ve suggested great things. Doing something like this with a quasi-license can be nightmarish in the wrong hands and this has been one of the most easy gigs I’ve had. A good editor helps you see the forest through the trees when you’re a writer. There’s a lot of stuff in there that I think is in there because the idea is in my head but I don’t realize I have to explain it sometimes.” Of his collaboration with Wayshack: “It’s been a great working with Jon, when I look at the pages, I’m like Oh my God, this is awesome! He just took my words and brought them to vivid life, which I’m just thrilled with. The book will sell because of the art, it just draws you into this world.”

One could naturally presume the Ferryman concept is being groomed for big screen potential. Andreyko says it all depends on what the reaction to the book is like. “There are definite thoughts that this would be cool to live on in other media. I’m writing it as a comic book story though. They say, Don’t write what you think is commercial, right what you feel. So I’m writing the story in the confines of a comic book with the pluses of a comic book. That being said, it could easily be translated into film, but I’m not doing this to make it into a movie.”

More details on The Ferryman can be found at Wildstorm’s official site.

Source: Ryan Rotten