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Almost 30 years after first appearing as an animated television series, Gargoyles is taking flight once more, this time in live-action.
Two major names in the creature feature business, Gary Dauberman and James Wan’s Atomic Monster banner, known for their collaborations on the hit Annabelle horror movies, have teamed up to remake the 1990s cartoon as a live-action series for Disney+.
Dauberman will write, executive produce and showrun the series with Atomic Monster, the company run by Wan and Michael Clear, joining the executive producing ranks. The project is described as being in early development at Disney Branded Television.
Gargoyles was made by Walt Disney Television Animation and aired three seasons, from 1994 to 1997. The premise involved gargoyle statues moved from a castle in Scotland to modern-day New York. Once in the Big Apple, the statues awaken from a thousand-year-old spell and take on the mantle of protecting the city, becoming, as the show’s narration gravely said, “stone by day, warriors by night.”
The series, created by Greg Weisman, came during a time of innovation in series animation, with Gargoyles riding a wave of shows with more complex storylines and darker tones that also included Batman: The Animated Series and X-Men. As with those shows, Gargoyles burrowed into the consciousness of a generation of TV watchers who have given it cult status.
While Disney hasn’t overtly tried to adapt the series into other formats, it did try to develop a gargoyles-in-modern-times feature in 2010 around the same time it made The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. The latter disappointed at the box office, and the project stalled out not too long afterwards.
Dauberman wrote Annabelle, Annabelle: Creation and Annabelle Comes Home, which were produced by Atomic Monster and are an integral part of Wan’s The Conjuring Universe, the highest-grossing horror franchise of all time. He also penned Conjuring spinoff The Nun.
The partnership has been fruitful not only because of the box office success, but also professionally, as Dauberman moved from behind the typewriter to behind the camera, making his directorial debut with Annabelle Comes Home.
And the two also worked together on Swamp Thing, the short-lived series based on the DC character that streamed on the now-defunct DC Universe platform.
Dauberman, repped by CAA, Industry Entertainment and Felker Toczek, has continued to be one of the top horror talents in town, penning the two-part adaptation of Stephen King’s It. The first part became the highest-grossing horror movie of all time. He also has King adaptation Salem’s Lot, which he wrote and directed for Warner Bros., in the can.
Atomic Monster was one of the companies behind the horror hit M3GAN and is developing a series adaptation of the Einer-winning comic The Good Asian, as well as well a feature adaptation of horror video game Dead by Daylight.
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