Comic Book Casting: The CRIMSON Television Series

Vampires are big right now. In fact, anything supernatural is big — from Twilight to The Walking Dead and practically anything in-between is fair game. It’s given a number of comic series a second look when Hollywood comes knocking. One of those that begs for attention, both with a new comic series and some Hollywood storytelling is the late 90s comic series Crimson by Humberto Ramos and Bryan Augustyn.While Ramos is mostly known now for drawing Amazing Spider-Man, he continues to do creator-owned work on the side and this was his first major project.

Published by Wildstorm’s Cliffhanger imprint, Crimson followed a teenager named Alex Elder who gets mauled by a pack of vampires while out for a night on the town. The vampires are pulled off him just before certain death by a musty old warlock of a man named Ekimus who sees this vampire attack on Elder as fate, as the pre-ordained killer of all vampires. The book follows Elder as he tries to grow into his new role and is pulled in different directions by competing voices, all the while fighting werewolves, vampire hunters and even his own kind. It was a dark but energetic storyline, with a surprising political element rolled into it with Victor Van Fleet that helped make it more than just another vampire story… and ideal source material for a television series.

The Concept:

Following in the road paved by Buffy The Vampire Slayer, the Crimson TV series could be a coming-of-age story set in the supernatural world. Ramos and Augustyn gifted the title with a great supporting cast to go alongside Alex Elder and Ekimus, from the red-haired vampire hunter Scarlet X to the south-of-the-border bloodsucker José and the primary villains of the piece, the vamp Lisseth and the U.S. senator Victor Van Fleet. This would fit in perfectly at something like The CW as perhaps a darker show to go on after Supernatural or Arrow, and has all the pieces to draw vampire lovers and teenagers in.

The Showrunner:

Although their previous work might not show it, I think Reaper showrunners Tara Butters and Michele Fazekas would be perfect. Their work on Reaper showed a comedy-heavy take on the supernatural, but their subsequent scripts for Dollhouse and Hawaii Five-0 show they can make it serious when need be without losing a sense of humor. Sure it’d be a stretch, but I think show needs to be about making stars — both in front of  and behind the camera — more than hiring known commodities (and their higher salaries.)

The Cast:

Alex Elder – Dominic Scott Kay: After debuting as a child actor in Minority Report, Dominic Scott Kay has grown into a resourceful young actor and director. At 16 years of age, it’d be interesting for Kay to step in a lead role like this and grow into the part of a teenage boy dealing with a thirst for blood on top of normal adolescence.

Ekimus – Michael Ironside: One of the ultimate bad guys in 80s cinema, Ironside expanded his career in some more heroic turns in everything from Starship Troopers and Terminator: Salvation. I’d love to see him bring that trademark voice and look (with copious amounts of make-up) to wisen up Alex Elder.

Scarlet X – Bella Thorne: While hanging out with my niece while she was watching TV, I discovered Bella Thorne in the lead of a Disney Channel original movie named Frenemies. She’s currently wrapped up in a slew of Disney projects, but something like Crimson could be an ideal role for her to break out of that stereotype. She’s a star waiting for her shot.

Jose – Michael Spears: Renting the Michael Biehn movie Yellow Rock led me to re-discover Michael Spears after his last major role in the 2005 miniseries Into The West. Although perhaps a year or two too old for Jose, I think he’s more than capable than any other actor for embodying the hard-partying old-school Mexican.

Lisseth – Jody Lynn O’Keefe: Lisseth is a bad ass, and after watching Prison Break I think Jody Lynn O’Keefe could positively kill in this role. She’s grown out of her teen movie ways and into a grade A villain, and could play Lisseth and all her dimensions.

Victor Van Fleet – Bruce Boxleitner: Bruce Boxleitner has more rebounds that a basketball game, from TRON to Babylon 5 to Scarecrow & Ms. King to TRON: Legacy. Boxleitner would be an ideal political shark with sharp teeth of his own in this ensemble piece, and really add an experienced weight to the series to counterbalance all the young stars.


  1. I loved this series when it came out, and still to this day. It would be fantastic to see it bought to life on screen. I always felt it got cut a little short, and there where still plenty more stories to tell in that universe so it would be ideal for a serialised show.
    Whatever happened to Bryan Augustyn anyway?