Jayden Revri as Charles Rowland and George Rexstrew as Edwin Payne in Dead Boy Detectives

Netflix Sets an Official Release Date for ‘Dead Boy Detectives’

Netflix has revealed the official release date for its Dead Boy Detectives series. After years in development and a switch in streamers, the supernatural series is finally becoming a reality.

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Dead Boy Detectives has been in development for several years now, recently switching hands from HBO Max to Netflix following James Gunn and Peter Safran’s hiring as co-CEOs of DC studios. Given how long it has been in development and the fact that updates have been fairly few and far between, some fans worried that the series might not happen. However, Netflix has saved Dead Boy Detectives from becoming one of HBO Max’s doomed projects, and the series is preparing to drop on the platform soon.

Netflix announces Dead Boy Detectives release date and drops new photos

Netflix recently announced that Dead Boy Detectives will be available for streaming globally on April 25, 2024. In addition to announcing the release date, Netflix dropped three new official images of the series, giving viewers a better look at the four main stars.

Dead Boy Detectives official teaser

Prior to the release date announcement, Netflix dropped the official teaser for Dead Boy Detectives.

The teaser promises a show filled with supernatural happenings, detective work, and a lot of quirkiness. It highlights the exceptional talent behind the show, as it is based on a story by Neil Gaiman, developed by The Flight Attendant‘s Steve Yockey, and produced by You EP Greg Berlanti. Most of the trailer is supernatural shenanigans from the Dead Boys as they open their own detective agency and find themselves in over their heads with paranormal cases ranging from levitating girls to werewolves to enormous eyeballs.

There’s also a tease of a connection to The Sandman as the boys hide from Death. Could Death (Kirby Howell-Baptiste) or Dream (Tom Sturridge) make an appearance? Ultimately, Dead Boy Detectives seems prepared to expand The Sandman universe in a fun way.

Who are the Dead Boy Detectives?

The Dead Boy Detectives are Charles Rowland and Edwin Payne, and they first appeared in comics published under Vertigo, an imprint of DC Comics. Created by Gaiman and Matt Wagner, the duo debuted in Gaiman’s Sandman comics before getting their miniseries. Rowland and Payne are two boys who died while attending boarding school. Payne died in 1916 and spent several decades in hell before escaping and returning to the place where he died. There, he meets a living boy named Rowland, who also tragically dies at the school. The two meet up as ghosts and decide to investigate supernatural mysteries together.

Rowland and Payne have appeared in live-action before, in HBO Max’s Doom Patrol, in which they were portrayed by Ty Tennant and Sebastian Croft, respectively, and impressed fans enough to nab their own series. Sadly, HBO Max decided to recast the roles of Rowland and Payne, much to the disappointment of Tennant and Croft’s fans. However, many are still interested to see this new adaptation of the Dead Boy Detectives.

Dead Boy Detectives‘ excellent cast

Jayden Revri as Rowland and George Rexstrew as Payne in Dead Boy Detectives

Jayden Revri and George Rexstrew have been tapped for the lead roles in Dead Boy Detectives. Revri, best known for appearing in Fate: The Winx Saga and The Lodge, is playing Rowland. Meanwhile, Rexstrew, a relative newcomer to the film industry, will star as Payne. Joining them is Kassius Nelson, best known for starring in Last Night in Soho and A Series of Unfortunate Events, who will portray the lead role of Crystal Palace, a clairvoyant.

Tulsa King‘s Michael Beach has also been cast in the series as Tragic Mick, a walrus trapped in a human body who runs a magic shop and occasionally teams up with the Dead Boy Detectives. Joshua Colley, who starred alongside Rebel Wilson in Senior Year, will portray Monty, a teenager with an affinity for astrology who can see ghosts and develops a huge crush on Payne. Meanwhile, Lindsey Gort has signed on to play Maxine, a “quirky librarian” with a “big, messy secret.” Gort has already appeared in the DC universe before, as Amy Rohrbach in Titans, but it seems she’ll be playing a wholly new role for Dead Boy Detectives.

David Iacono, who recently starred in The Summer I Turned Pretty and The Flight Attendant will portray a villain in the series named David the Demon. Iacono’s Flight Attendant co-star Briana Cuoco will also appear as Jenny the Butcher in the series. Lukas Gage, star of The White Lotus season 1 and You season 4, will appear as the Cat King, a feline spirit. Meet Cute‘s Yuyu Kitamura will play Niko, a boarding school student who wants to join the Dead Boy Detectives, while Justified‘s Jenn Lyon will appear as a witch obsessed with children and immortality. Meanwhile, Ruth Connell will reprise her Doom Patrol role as Night Nurse for the series.

Dead to Me‘s Max Jenkins and Hacks‘ Caitlin Reilly will portray Kingham and Litty, respectively, two dandelion sprites. Rounding out the cast are John Brotherton as Seth Von Hoverkraft (Palace’s father), Lauren K. Robek as Disguise, Sarah Desjardins as a character named Shelby, Miranda Edwards as Iris, Alix West Lefler as Emma, Sharon Taylor as Officer Parris, and Rochelle Okoye as Goddess.

What is Dead Boy Detectives about?

Edwin Paine and Charles Rowland by Dead Boy Detectives
(DC Comics)

The official synopsis for Dead Boy Detectives reads:

Do you have a pesky ghost haunting you? Has a demon stolen your core memories? You may want to ring the Dead Boy Detectives.
In this new supernatural series set in The Sandman universe, two teenagers find each other in death… and they will do anything to stick together – including escaping evil witches, Hell and Death herself. With the help of a clairvoyant named Crystal (Kassius Nelson), they must work together to crack some of the mortal realm’s most mystifying paranormal cases.

It seems Dead Boy Detectives will follow the source material closely as it explores the bond between Payne and Rowland and their decision to open a detective agency as ghosts. So far, it’s shaping up to be a bit of a cross between Supernatural and Lockwood & Co. Hopefully, the show will also explore the relationship between Payne and Rowland. The comics always hinted that Payne was in love with Rowland, though his sexuality was never officially addressed. In Doom Patrol, the show does make Payne’s feelings for Rowland clear, which particularly excited viewers. With the casting of Colley as Monty, we know the show will have at least one LGBTQ+ character, but there is room for the series to have even more representation moving forward.

Dead Boy Detectives episode count

In April 2022, when HBO Max picked up Dead Boy Detectives, they ordered an eight-episode series. Even though it’s moved over to Netflix, it appears that the eight-episode count has stuck with the series.

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Rachel Ulatowski
Rachel Ulatowski is a Staff Writer for The Mary Sue, who frequently covers DC, Marvel, Star Wars, literature, and celebrity news. She has over three years of experience in the digital media and entertainment industry, and her works can also be found on Screen Rant, JustWatch, and Tell-Tale TV. She enjoys running, reading, snarking on YouTube personalities, and working on her future novel when she's not writing professionally. You can find more of her writing on Twitter at @RachelUlatowski.