Casper the Friendly Ghost will not be so friendly in an upcoming series for NBCUniversal's Peacock. The new project is expected to be similar to Riverdale, providing a darker take on the beloved ghost. Universal has a long history with Casper, bringing the character to life in the 1995 movie starring Christina Ricci and Bill Pullman.
The new series will be written and executive produced by Kai Yu Wu (The Ghost Bride), reports Deadline. When a new family arrives at the small town of Eternal Falls, Casper gets involved in a mystery with dark secrets that have been hitten for over 100 years. It will be set at a high school and feature CGI effects to create the ghosts. Universal Studio Group's UCP and DreamWorks Animation will produce the series.
Casper began life in theatrical shorts produced by Famous Studios between 1945 and 1959. Seymour Reit, Joe Oriolo, and Vincent E. Valentine II created the friendly ghost. Harvey Comics began publishing Casper comics in 1952, then acquired the character in 1959, giving Casper new life as a comic book star.
During the 1960s and 1970s, it was impossible to avoid Casper on television. He starred in several shows, including Matty's Funday Funnies, The New Casper Cartoon Show, and Casper and the Angels. Classic Media acquired Harvey Entertainment in 2001, and DreamWorks Animation bought Classic Media in 2012. When NBCUniversal acquired DreamWorks Animation in 2016, it also became the owner of Casper.
Universal previously adapted Casper as a movie in 1995. The film is notable as the first movie with a fully CGI character in the lead role. Ricci starred in the movie as Kat Harvey, with Pullman starring as her father. Brad Garrett, Cathy Moriarty, and Eric Idle also starred in the film. Although Universal never got around to making a sequel itself, 20th Century Fox made direct-to-video movies in 1997 and 1998.
Wu previously worked on Netflix's The Ghost Bride, The CW's The Flash, and NBC's Hannibal. She is an executive producer on AZNBBGRL, a pilot Freeform is developing. Wu is also an executive producer on the upcoming Disney+ series American Born Chinese, based on the graphic novel by Gene Luen Yang.
AZNBBGRL is a pilot set in Little Saigon in Orange County, California. It centers on three Asian American teenagers hoping to space generational expectations and create a bond deeper than family among themselves. It was written by Natalie Chaidez (The Flight Attendant) and Dinh Thai (Wu-Tang: An American Saga).