Often a guest character in DC Comics titles (and the short-lived DC Universe Swamp Thing), Madame Xanadu is on the verge of getting her own HBO Max series.
Variety reports Professor Marston and the Wonder Women‘s Angela Robinson is writing the pilot and will serve as an executive producer should the proposed program go to series. J.J. Abrams and Ben Stephenson are also onboard as execs with Abram’s Bad Robot producing. Rachel Rusch Rich is also set to be a co-executive producer.
Designed by artist Michael William Kaluta in 1978, the character debuted in Doorway to Nightmare #1; the last of DC’s mystery line of comics in the 1970s. Like many other characters in the line, she continued to make sporadic appearances in DC Comics throughout the 1980s and 90s before finally receiving her own Vertigo comic book by Matt Wagner and principle artist Amy Reeder. The book established the mysterious fortune teller as Nimue, one of the Ladies of the Lake in Arthurian mythology. Though, in this telling, Nimue was identified as the Lady in the Lake’s sister. The series survived 29 issues and featured guest appearances by the Spectre and the Golden Age Sandman. In the current comics continuity, she is a big figure in the DC Universe’s mystical community and a supporter of the Justice League Dark team.
As alluded to earlier, her most notable appearance outside of comics was in the 2019 Swamp Thing series. There, played by Jeryl Prescot, she offered main character Abby Arcane (Crystal Reed) sage advice while also setting up her own story, which, sadly, was never fully revealed as the program was cancelled before its second episode streamed on DC Universe.
Abrams and Bad Robot, as it happens, have taken an interest in the Justice League Dark roster with a “Young Constantine” series and a Justice League Dark series in the works at HBO Max. With Xanadu now on the slate, is it possible the various Bad Robot shows will lead into the JLD show? Can it be more successful than The Defenders?
Time will tell, of course, but we always hope for the best with these projects, particularly in the cases of more obscure characters like Madame Xanadu.
And, yeah, we’re still not over the cancellation of the Vertigo series or the DC Universe Swamp Thing.