FRESH OFF THE ratings success of his “Mad Men” season premiere Sunday, show creator Matthew Weiner has just announced his feature-film directing debut, starring Owen Wilson as a lead character who goes by the name of ....

Steve Dallas?

What in the name of “Bloom County” is going on here?


Author-cartoonist Berkeley Breathed and his son Milo last year. (Kevin Winter/GETTY IMAGES)

So is there a connection between the “Steve Dallas” created by the Emmy-winning director and the “Steve Dallas” created decades ago by the Pulitzer-winning cartoonist Berkeley Breathed? "No," Weiner tells Comic Riffs. "But I love that.”

The Steve Dallas character who starred in the comics was a freewheeling bachelor and attorney born through Breathed’s University of Texas at Austin strip, “Academia Waltz.”

The Steve Dallas character in Weiner’s film is a “freewheeling bachelor” and “weatherman” (according to the release) to be played by Owen Wilson, who attended the University of Texas at Austin.

Wilson is apparently a fan of at least one comic, having starred opposited a CGI’d pooch in “Marmaduke.”