Dead Boy Detectives is one of the many creations of Neil Gaiman that have appeared on screen in recent years, and a new HBO Max series will give the DC Comics characters their first solo series after appearing in the third season of Doom Patrol. While the ghostly pair’s appearance in Doom Patrol saw Edward Paine and Charles Rowland played by Sabastian Croft and Ty Tennant respectively, alongside Madalyn Horcher in the role of Crystal Palace, their human medium, the new series has recast all three characters, even though their Doom Patrol appearance and departure seemed to set up the spin-off show.
Originating as part of Gaiman’s epic Sandman graphic novels, which are also getting their own adaptation over at Netflix, the Dead Boy Detectives first appeared in 1991 as the two ghostly children who dismiss a journey to the afterlife in favor of living on Earth and becoming investigators of crimes. While not well known in the grander scheme of DC’s catalogue of characters, they are being shown a lot of love now with their own show.
Casting details on the new series comes courtesy of Variety, who reported that the series leads have officially been recast for the pilot episode, with Jayden Revri, previously seen in horror movie The Lodge, taking over the role of Charles Rowland and newcomer George Rexstrew debuting on screen as Edward Paine. Crystal Palace will be played by Last Night in Soho’s Kassius Nelson. While it is not clear why the roles have been recast, there could be numerous reasons behind the change, whether it being the actors not wanting to move forward with the characters or the studio wanting something different for his new series, which could potentially be set in a different part of the DC Multiverse to Doom Patrol.
Other cast members include Supernatural star Alexander Calvert as Thomas The Cat King; Briana Cuoco (Harley Quinn) as Jenny, a mildly punk butcher and confidant of Crystal Palace; Justified’s Jenn Lyon as Esther, a witch obsessed with immortality; and Yuyu Kitamura as Niko, a boarding school student with her sights set on joining the Dead Boy Detectives agency.
The recasting and the changing of characters is not something unusual for DC, as many of their biggest heroes and villains have seen multiple actors portraying them in different timelines from DC’s many iterations of their biggest properties. The main Doom Patrol characters originally appeared in Titans, with completely different personalities, which was explained away by saying that the story took place in another universe during Crisis on Infinite Earths.
The Dead Boy Detectives origins in Sandman means they are also up for appearing in the Netflix series based on Gaiman’s epic graphic novel tapestry, and would likely see more new actors taking on the roles if they do. The popular series Lucifer was very loosely based on the character’s appearance in Sandman, and while that show was recently ended by Netflix, the character will be seen as a completely new iteration in the Sandman series, being played by Game of Thrones star Gwendoline Christie.
HBO Max are currently in the process of expanding their DC based output on the streaming platform, with series based on The Batman and other big properties heading there in the next year. The Dead Boy Detectives could be a first step towards the occult offerings of the DC giant such as Constantine and Madame Xanadu, who both have projects in the works.
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