Deadline announced yesterday that David Cronenberg is on board to executive produce and direct the pilot episode of Knifeman, from a script by Rollin Jones (Friday Night Lights). Sam Raimi is also on board as a producer.
Cronenberg has dabbled in television before; I recall an episode of Friday the 13th: The Series called "Faith Healer," but this is the first time Cronenberg's in on a series from the beginning.
Now settle down, grim-n-gritty comic nerds: Knifeman is not about a stab-happy vigilante. Rather, it's the tale of John Hunter, a colorful, foul-mouthed 18th century Scotsman who challenged antiquated notions of medicine ("bodily humours," bloodletting, etc.) to discover the true nature of human anatomy. To that end he cut a bloody swath to modern medicine, leaving piles of dissected cadavers and thousands of vivisected animals in his wake. Today he's considered a pioneer not only in surgical practices; his quest to understand the human body knew no bounds and he was a trailblazer in dentistry and disease, at one point injecting himself with gonorrhea in order to study it. He also pioneered universal healthcare, treating the rich and poor alike without discrimination. And according to some, his house full of exotic animals provided the inspiration for Doctor Doolittle.
By all accounts the source novel by Wendy Moore is stomach-churning, so we can expect something of a return to bloody form for Cronenberg (whose upcoming film, Cosmopolis, will probably be relatively non-sanguine). I sort of hope Raimi is very hands-on, if only to see what an actual collaboration between the two looks like.