Strange Times: TBS to Develop Sci-Fi Series from Blink-182’s Tom DeLonge

Strange Times, a paranormal series from Blink-182's Tom DeLonge, is in development at TBS.

While the pop culture public knows Tom DeLonge as a contemporary rock star co-founder of Blink-182 and later as the vocalist for modern post-punk supergroup Angels & Aiwaves, it appears that he’ll soon trade his duties onstage for one behind the scenes of a television series adaptation of his recent turn as a fiction author with franchise Strange Times.

Strange Times is now in development over at TBS as a television series. The project – following the supernatural exploits of a group of young skateboarders – will adapt the franchise of novels and graphic novels by DeLonge, notably represented by the 2015 graphic novel, Strange Times: The Curse of Superstition Mountain, and Strange Times: The Ghost in the Girl, the October 2016-released YA book that DeLonge co-wrote with Geoff Herbach. The would-be TBS series will be written/executive produced by newcomer Aaron Karo. DeLonge is onboard as an executive producer, joined in that capacity by The Cartel’s Stan Spry and Jeff Holland and Strike Entertainment’s Russell Binder.

As DeLonge tells Variety, the TV plans represent the culmination of a nearly a decade’s worth of planning, hinting of multimedia crossover potential. He explains:

“This is a dream I’ve had for over 10 years and it’s finally a reality. All the stories and themes I work on are meant to be shared through multiple mediums and on different platforms — film, TV, books, music and so on. Strange Times began as an interactive website where people shared weird, paranormal stories — a lot of them with credible evidence. That helped inspire the story behind the graphic novel and also a prose novel that I published. This is exactly what my company To The Stars Academy of Arts and Science does. We hope to create something that could be described as sort of a ‘science fiction Disney,’ where our entertainment franchises are worlds that are inspired and informed by our own next-generation science division.”

DeLonge also hints of a classic punk-rock/new-wave-oriented soundtrack for the series, naming bands like The Descendents, The Queers, and Bad Religion, along with New Order, Depeche Mode and The Cure. Additionally, when asked of an ideal theme song, DeLonge names “Suburban Home,” the classic cut from The Descendents’ 1982 album, “Milo Goes to College.”

News of the Strange Times TBS TV prospects arrive nearly two years after reports of DeLonge’s initial live-action plans to direct a feature film based off the book series. DeLonge had even co-written a screenplay with Ben Kull, with whom he previously collaborated, directing the 2014 animated short Poet Anderson: The Dream Walker. That offering is currently one of two of DeLonge’s directorial credits, with the other being the 2002 music video for “I Feel So” for (Blink-182 side project) Box Car Racer. However, there’s no word yet on whether DeLonge will direct on the TV series.

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The Strange Times franchise focuses on a group of middle-school-aged skater snoopers in San Diego. While each one deals with uniquely demented home lives, it seems that they’re regularly put in the paths of various supernatural phenomenon. In the case of novel, The Ghost in the Girl, the group – consisting of introverted tortured former overachiever Charlie, slacker skater kids Mouse and Mattheson and the bullied, heavy-set Riley – are thrust into a paranormal investigation after a ghost girl seemingly stalks Charlie, carrying potential connections to his family, notably the officially-redacted fate of his M.I.A. military father. As DeLonge mused back in February 2017 of this close-to-home story:

“I grew up in Southern California as a disaffected young skateboarder who broke the occasional law or five, and I was always dreaming about the world around me, obsessively looking for the more unusual and imaginative experiences that life has to offer. That’s the inspiration behind Strange Times, which is about the tribe of broken youth and the restless spirit that inspired me to form Blink-182 and seek out adventure.”

With Netflix streaming serial smash Stranger Things having seemingly awakened a widespread desire for 1980’-style adventures along the lines of The Goonies and The Monster Squad, DeLonge’s Strange Times TV series will likely look to capture the same earnest, irreverent, cynicism-free fun while painting a portrait of youths based on his own So-Cal upbringing. Indeed, with his Strange Times franchise predating the arrival of the Stranger Things phenomenon, it’s somewhat serendipitous that the industry could be headed in the direction of his creation.

The Stranger Things parallels are hardly lost on DeLonge, who, when asked if he wishes to see similar franchise growth for Strange Times, states:

“Absolutely, I don’t like working on one-offs. One reason I created To The Stars was to be able to build dynamic and rich worlds for everyone — whether you’re visual and prefer graphic novels and film or an avid reader who likes to pore over every detail and imagine the world on your own.”

We’ll keep you updated on TBS’s Strange Times as news becomes available.

Joseph Baxter is a contributor for Den of Geek and Syfy Wire. You can find his work here. Follow him on Twitter @josbaxter.