Lark Productions acquires TV rights to sci-fi comic series

The Vancouver-based prodco will develop and produce a TV series based on the Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen comics Descender and Ascender.

Vancouver’s Lark Productions has picked up the exclusive TV rights to the comic book Descender and the sequel Ascender.

Both Descender (pictured) and its Eisner Award-nominated sequel Ascender are written by Canadian author and cartoonist Jeff Lemire with art from Dustin Nguyen, and are published by Image Comics. The series follows a robot named Tim-21 in a space opera that spans across worlds and millennia.

Lark Productions will work with Lemire and Nguyen to develop and produce a series based on the comics. President Erin Haskett will serve as an executive producer on the project, with Lemire and Nguyen also attached to executive produce.

“We are thrilled to be collaborating with the creative powerhouse team of Jeff and Dustin,” said Haskett, in a statement. “Descender/Ascender is a beautifully crafted saga, examining the tolls of technology on nature and humanity, which feels very timely for television. Tim-21 and Mila’s epic journey of self discovery brings us hope for humanity and reminds us of the importance and value of love and family.”

Lemire’s previous work includes the graphic novel The Secret Path, a collaboration between Lemire and the late singer/songwriter/activist Gord Downie, which accompanied a concept album of the same name about 12-year-old Anishinaabe boy Chanie Wenjack who died after escaping a residential school. A documentary based on the project, titled Finding the Secret Path, won a 2020 Canadian Screen Award for Biography or Arts Documentary Program or Series.

Lark Productions is also in development on a previously announced series based on the novel The Glass Hotel, written by Canadian author Emily St. John Mandel. NBCUniversal International Studios, which owns an equity stake in the prodco, owns the adaptation rights. Lark is also producing the legal drama Family Law with Calgary’s SEVEN24 Films for Global.