Peacock Orders Casper The Friendly Ghost Live-Action Series

A certain adorable and friendly ghost is getting his own live-action series. 

According to Variety, "Casper" is currently in development over at Peacock. The Harvey Comics character and animated TV personality made the leap (float?) to a feature film in 1995, featuring the voice of Malachi Pearson and the physical form of a young Devon Sawa. In director Brad Silberling's film, a young girl (Christina Ricci) moves into a haunted mansion with her widowed father (Bill Pullman), a paranormal therapist who is trying to contact his late wife. I was a little past the target age when that came out, but from what I know of it, it wasn't exactly the lightest fare, as our own BJ Colangelo wrote recently. It will be interesting to see how dark this series goes, if it happens.

The series will reportedly come from writer and executive producer Kai Yu Wu ("The Ghost Bride"), while UCP and DreamWorks Animation are co-producing. Variety describes the series as a "horror/adventure" show that's also a coming-of-age story. What that means in terms of who is coming of age, I'm not sure. Apparently a new family comes to the town of Eternal Falls, and our friendly ghost realizes he's part of a century-long mystery involving "dark secrets." 

Boo, but in the friendliest voice

I vaguely remember watching cartoons with Casper in them, and I remember what he looked like, but I was always a little too freaked out by ghosts to be comfortable with seeing it too frequently. What if there was one in my house? What if they could see me all the time? Casper has been around since the 1940s in comic book, animated short, and TV form, with the first film debuting in 1995. That film also starred Cathy Moriarty and Eric Idle, and ended up spawning the direct-to-video flicks "Casper: A Spirited Beginning" and "Casper Meets Wendy." 

Looking back at the 1995 movie gives us a clear snapshot of that time period. There were cameos from Don Novello as Father Guido Sarducci and Dan Aykroyd as Ran Stanz, both trying to get rid of Casper. Clint Eastwood had a cameo, as did Rodney Dangerfield, and Mel Gibson. Even Steven Spielberg apparently shows up in deleted scenes. I believe this means I need to watch it now for curiosity's sake. No word, of course, on whether or not there could be cameos in the series, but might I suggest Aykroyd again, along with maybe the "Stranger Things" kids, some of the cast of "Ghosts," and perhaps Jennifer Love Hewitt from "The Ghost Whisperer?"