"Walking Dead" fans, if you find that your attention's gone missing, look no further than creator Robert Kirkman himself — he may have just stolen it from you with his new television project for AMC, "Thief of Thieves."
"Thieves," based on the comic book of the same name, is currently in development at AMC, marking the second Kirkman title to aim for the small screen following the comic book scribe's already hugely successful zombie epic. Created by Kirkman and featuring a creative team including Nick Spencer and Shawn Martinbrough, "Thieves" centers on Conrad Paulson, a master thief who steals from other criminals in an effort to right the wrongs of his past — a premise that should fit right at home at AMC, as the network already houses a host of morally ambiguous "heroes" including Don Draper and Walter White of "Mad Men" and "Breaking Bad" fame.
"Because this is a story about characters — the kind of interesting, nuanced and slightly dark characters you see on everybody's favorite AMC shows like 'Mad Men' and 'Breaking Bad' — AMC was really excited about the idea of hurrying up and adapting this into a TV show," Kirkman told MTV News recently of the "Thieves" TV deal's origins. "I have a relationship with them, so they were very aware of the comic from its earliest stages. It seemed like a good fit to them."
Indeed, AMC has been aware of "Thieves" for quite some time now, even though the comic book still numbers in the single digits at this point.
"With 'Thief of Thieves,' I was developing it concurrently as a comic book as well as a show. I've been talking with AMC about this for a while," said Kirkman. "Because of the success of 'The Walking Dead' and my relationships with the people over at AMC, the conversation eventually comes up: 'What else are you working on? Is there anything else you have on the horizon that might be interesting to us?' I was able to talk to them about what I was doing with 'Thief of Thieves' while I was developing it as a comic book series, so the show and the comic are more or less developing concurrently."
Where "Walking Dead" came to AMC with dozens of stories already to its name, only a handful of "Thieves" comics have been published so far. "It's definitely a different process than what happened with 'Walking Dead,' where we were able to just slap down sixty or seventy comics and say, 'Here, this is what this is,'" said Kirkman. "I don't know when the show will get up off the ground, but it'll be interesting to see how they compare to each other and what actually happens in both of them. It is kind of a weird process."
It's also early in the process; Kirkman says no movement has been made on casting leading man Paulson or his surrounding cast, but as always, the writer has his eye on a favorite actor.
"We're still a few steps away from casting. All that said, I do love Ed O'Neill," he cracked, referencing the same "Married with Children" actor he's pitched for "Walking Dead" roles in the past. "I'm going to keep saying that until I get him in something."
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