Tag Archives: adaptation

Adaptation Watch: Finally…HBO Adapting Isaac Asimov’s FOUNDATION TRILOGY as Written by Jonathan “Interstellar” Nolan

The Wrap is reporting that HBO and Warner Bros. TV will adapt Isaac Asimov’s classic Foundation trilogy (consisting of Foundation, Foundation and Empire and Second Foundation) as a television series, to be written by Interstellar screenwriter Jonathan Nolan. (Nolan is already adapting Michael Crichton’s Westworld.)

The Foundation series is ostensibly about the rise and fall of a Galactic Empire. Its central figure is Hari Seldon, a mathematician who developed “psychohistory” as a way of predicting the future of very large groups of people. Seldon established a Foundation to minimize the inevitable Dark Ages from thirty thousand years down to a mere millenium. (Hence the name of the first novella that comprised the fix-up Foundation novel, “The Thousand Year Plan.”) The entire foundation universe is comprised of a few more novels, and eventually Asimov tied them together with his also-popular Robot novels. (I talked about the entire series last year at Kirkus review in a three part article.)

Hopefully, this adaptation of Foundation will finally be moving forward. (See what I did there?) It’s been talked about before

[via io9]

Adaptation Watch: Netflix Adapting Lemony Snicket’s A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS

Variety is reporting that Netflix has acquired rights to produce an original series based on best-selling 13-book franchise A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket (the pseudonym of Daniel Handler).

The dark comedy series follows the exploits of three children after the mysterious death of their parents and the bad fortune that often befalls them, usually at the hands of evil Count Olaf. The Lemony Snicket books have sold more than 65 million copies worldwide.

There are not many details knows about the production att his point, other than that the series will be produced in association with Paramount Television, who also produced the 2004 Jim Carrey film Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events. No expected start date was given.

Adaptation Watch: Arthur C. Clarke’s 3001: THE FINAL ODYSSEY to be Developed as SyFy TV Miniseries Produced by Ridley Scott

Earlier this year, it was announced that Childhood’s End by Arthur C. Clarke was being adapted into a miniseries by the SyFy channel. Now, word comes from Variety that Clarke’s novel 3001: The Final Odyssey is getting the same SyFy miniseries treatment.

Ridley Scott’s production company Scott Free Prods. and Warner Horizon Television are developing the miniseries. Ridley Scott, David W. Zucker, Clayton Krueger and Stuart Beattie will serve as producers. Beattie is also the screen writer for the project. His writing credits include the Pirates of the Caribbeans films, 30 Days of Night, I, Frankenstein and the upcoming Tarzan and Halo films. The estates of both Kubrick and Clarke have offered their full support for the 3001: The Final Odyssey miniseries.

3001: The Final Odyssey continues the story that began with Clarke’s short story “The Sentinel”, which was the basis for the 1968 novel 2001: A Space Odyssey (written concurrently with the classic Stanley Kubrick film). That book spawned three sequels:

  • 2010: Odyssey Two (1982, also adapted to film)
  • 2061: Odyssey Three (1987)
  • 3001: The Final Odyssey (1997)

3001: The Final Odyssey picks up the story of Frank Poole, the astronaut from 2001, when his freeze-dried body is discovered 1,000 years after the events of the first book. Humanity fears that the Jovian monolith, believed to be monitoring Earth so that its alien creators could pass judgment on it, will soon receive the go-ahead to obliterate human civilization. I hate when that happens.

SPOILER ALERT: If memory serves, this had a ridiculous ending that was appropriated by the filmmakers of Independence Day. Let’s hope this adaptation cleans that up a bit, hmm?

Adaptation Watch: Grady Hendrix’s HORRORSTÖR Novel To Be Developed As TV Series

…And the adaptation news keeps coming!

Deadline is reporting that Horrorstör, the unique supernatural mystery novel written by Grady Hendrix, is being adapted for television!

Horrorstör is a haunted house story of a different color. It’s about the strange goings-on at the Ikea-like Orsk furniture superstore in Cleveland, Ohio…where employees arrive every morning to find the store trashed. The store cameras reveal nothing, so a small group of brave employees agree to work the night shift, when they encounter unspeakable horrors. Horrorstör is unique in that comes packaged in the form of a glossy mail order catalog, complete with product illustrations, a home delivery order form, and a map of Orsk’s labyrinthine showroom.

The rights to Horrorstör have been acquired for development as a television series by The Jackal Group, a co-venture between Fox Networks Group and Gail Berman. Berman spearheaded the development of the successful Buffy The Vampire Slayer television series, another series that mixed horror and humor, as Horrorstör was obviously designed to do. That bodes well for any show that might develop from this.

Adaptation Watch: Ann Leckie’s ANCILLARY JUSTICE Optioned for TV

Author Ann Leckie announced on her blog that her first novel, Ancillary Justice, has been optioned for television!

Ancillary Justice is a story about Justice of Toren, who used to be a starship with an artificial intelligence linking thousands of corpse soldiers under service to the Radch empire, but who now appears on a remote, icy planet as a human soldier on a mission of revenge against the Lord of the Radch. The book explored themes of gender and swept the awards in recent months, winning the Hugo, Nebula, British Science Fiction, Locus and Arthur C. Clarke Awards. The sequel, Ancillary Sword, was released earlier this month.

The option for Ancillary Justice was purchased by the Fabrik production company and Fox Television Studios, who together produced Burn Notice and The Killing. Leckie says she worked closely with the production company to make sure that the show would remain true to its exploration of gender, to which she was assured it would not be “whitewashed”.

As Leckie notes, an option doesn’t necessarily mean the show will make it to production, but it’s an important first step. And not only is this good news for this specific title, but also for the genre at large because it means that Hollywood still sees speculative fiction as a viable source of good stories. But then again, when have they stopped?

Adaptation Watch: Kim Stanley Robinson’s MARS Trilogy Being Adapted for TV

The Warp is reporting that Vince Gerardis (co-executive producer of HBO’s Game of Thrones) is bringing an adaptation of Kim Stanley Robinson’s Mars Trilogy to Spike TV.

Robinson’s Hugo and Nebula award-winning Mars series — consisting of Red Mars (1993) , Green Mars (1994) and Blue Mars (1996) — details the story of the colonization of Mars and all of the political and ecological challenges that go along with it. The trilogy also examines the effects that advanced technology has on the society that develops it.

Robinson will be on hand to consult on the series.

Adaptation Watch: John Scalzi’s LOCK IN Optioned for TV

John Scalzi is on fire!

Not too long ago, news broke that his novel Redshirts was getting a limited run tv series, as well as his Old Man’s War novels. Now comes word from Variety that Legendary TV has acquired the rights to adapt Scalzi’s new novel Lock In into a television pilot for a potential series .Not much else is known at this point — this is still in the very early stages.

The plot of the near-future thriller Lock In revolves around a disease that renders people in a mannequin-like state of immobility, but otherwise aware of their surroundings. Technology is developed that allows those who are infected to inhabit the bodies of others and live through them, a situation that sets the stage for a police procedural.

Here’s the book description:
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Adaptation Watch: Anne Rice’s Entire VAMPIRE CHRONICLES Series (Past & Future) Has Been Acquired by Universal, Imagine & Brian Grazer

Deadline is reporting that Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles has been optioned by Universal Pictures, Imagine Entertainment, and Brian Grazer. The deal includes not only the existing 10 novels in The Vampire Chronicles, but also the upcoming 11th novel, the 2 books in the related series New Tales of the Vampires, and any future novels. It also includes the adapted screenplay for Tale of the Body Thief written by Christopher Rice, Anne’s son.

Two of Rice’s Vampire Chronicles books have been previously adapted: 1994’s Interview with the Vampire, which starred Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt; and 2002’s Queen of the Damned starring Stuart Townsend and Aaliyah. This new deal means those films will be remade.

Rice’s series revolves around French nobleman Lestat de Lioncourt, who was turned into a vampire in the 18th century. The entire series spans centuries and includes several vampires characters. Rice’s vampires are considered unique in that they are not subject to the “traditional” vampire weaknesses like garlic and crosses. Although the most recent book in The Vampire Chronicles was published back in 2003, Rice recently announced a new 11th book in that series, Prince Lestat, due out October 28th.

Not caught up on the series? Time to start reading!

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John Scalzi’s THE GHOST BRIGADES Headed to the SyFy Channel!

Cool News of the Day: SyFy is developing a drama series based on John Scalzi’s novel The Ghost Brigades, one of the books set in the author’s Old Man’s War universe.

Two time Oscar nominee Wolfgang Petersen (Das Boot, In The Line of Fire, Air Force One, The NeverEnding Story) and Scott Stuber (Safe House, Ted) are developing it, with Jake Thornton and Ben Lustig signed on to write the screenplay.

SyFy’s Ghost Brigades follows John Perry, a seventy five year old man who enlists into the Colonial Defense Force to fight a centuries-long war for man’s expansion into the cosmos. Technology allows experiences and consciousness to be transplanted into younger bodies that are outfitted to endure the harsher rigors of war in space. However, soon after John arrives, he finds himself involved with a mysterious woman, and at the same time, at the center of an unraveling conspiracy involving an elite fighting force known as The Ghost Brigades. Oh, and did we mention the BrainPal, a computer that’s located in your brain?

We couldn’t be happier for John Scalzi. We loved the Old Man’s War books and look forward to seeing it on screen.

Amazon Orders Pilot for a Drama Series Based on Philip K. Dick’s THE MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE

Deadline in reporting that Amazon has ordered a pilot episode for a drama series based on Philip K. Dick’s famous alternate history novel The Man In The High Castle. The book posits an alternate history in which Germany won World War II and now occupies the United States.

The order went to Ridley Scott’s production company Scott Free, who owns the rights. The script is being written by former X-Files writer Frank Spotnitz.

This is not the first news of this novel being adapted. Back in 2013, it was being reported that the SyFy channel was interested in adapting the series, but that apparently went nowhere. Now, Amazon has expressed an interest in the adaptation. Time will tell if actually pans out this time.

Adaptation Watch: Robert Charles Wilson’s SPIN Being Adapted for TV!

The Hollywood Reporter is, er, reporting that Robert Charles Wilson’s Hugo Award-winning science fiction thriller Spin is being adapted for television by Universal Cable Productions, who acquires the television rights. Producers attached to the project are Rob Morrow (best known for his acting roles in Northern Exposure and Quiz Show) and Olympus Pictures’ Leslie Urdang (Beginners, Rabbit Hole). No actors or network has been named as being attached to the project.

The story focuses on the lives of three childhood friends against the backdrop of the Earth being seemingly and inexplicably enclosed in an artificial barrier that blocks humans from seeing any stars besides the sun. NASA learns that time is traveling a billion times faster outside of the barrier and civilization on Earth will last another five years before the sun expands and consumes the planet.

Adaptation Watch: Margaret Atwood’s “MaddAddam” Trilogy Being Adapted by Darren Aronofsky for HBO

Deadline is reporting that Margaret Atwood’s recent Dystopian trilogy — consisting of Oryx and Crake (2003), The Year of the Flood (2009) and MaddAddam (2013) — is being adapted as a series called MaddAddam for HBO. Darren Aronofsky is attached as executive producer and will possibly direct the series. Aronofsky is apparently a big fan of Margaret Atwood and her series, saying about it that he “realized how amazing it was, how significant a piece in the sci-fi canon it was”.

The story in the books takes place before and after a massive, catastrophic plague kills most of the world’s population in a mid-21st century where genetic modification is common and corporations have replaced governments.

It’s too soon to know any details about the adaptation…but it has to be a good sign that the guy running things is a huge fan of the source material.

[via Tor.com]

Adaptation Watch: Jonathan Maberry’s V-WARS Coming to Television!

It was just announced that IDW Entertainment and Entertainment One Television will be devloping a television series based on the V-Wars, the vampire antholoy edited by Jonathan Maberry that also spawned a related graphic novel series (written by Maberry and others).

The pilot is being written by Tim Schlattmann (Dexter, Smallville), who will also server as executive producer on the series. It’s being pitched as a new take on vampires.

V-Wars puts a new spin on the vampires by grounding the premise on a millennial-old virus that affects different people in different ways, based on their DNA. This leads to vampires that are as diverse as humanity.

Maberry, who is quoted as saying “V-Wars is a head-on collision of real-world science, terrorism, special forces action, ethics, politics and an exploration of what defines us as human,” is also the author of the popular Joe Ledger series, which re-invented the zombie novel as a taut thriller with Patient Zero.

In the meantime, a second anthology of V-Wars (V Wars: Blood and Fire) is scheduled for release this July and features stories by Kevin J. Anderson, Scott Sigler, Larry Corriea, Joe McKinney, Nancy Holder, Yvonne Navarro, Weston Ochse, James A. Moore, and Jonathan Maberry.

[via Keith R.A. DeCandido]

Adaptation Watch: IT by Stephen King

Hollywood loves Stephen King!

The Hollywood Reporter is, um, reporting that a film adaptation of Stephen King’s 1987 horror novel It has been picked up by New Line. Although an It film has been in development at Warner Bros. for some time, apparently going nowhere, this indicates that the project may finally get to move forward.

The story is about a group of people — childhood friends from the town of Derry, Maine — who reunite to battle an evil creature they call “It”. Why? because they defeated that very same evil twenty five years ago which, instead of being killed, was apparently lying dormant.

According to /Film, the adaptation is being planned as a two-film series, with one focusing on characters as children, and the other focusing on those characters as adults.

I read It many tears ago and loved it. I briefly wrote about it late last year at Kirkus Reviews. There was a television mini-series back in 1990 starring Tim Curry (as “It”, who manifests himself as an evil clown), Richard Thomas, Annette O’Toole, John Ritter and Harry Anderson. It was fairly corny. Here’s hoping any new film adaptation that gets made will be closer to the book’s horror origins.

Crossing fingers!

Adaptation Watch: THIRTEEN / BLACK MAN by Richard K. Morgan

Wertzone tells us that Richard K. Morgan’s futuristic noir thriller novel Thirteen (released in the U.K. as Black Man) is being optioned for film.

Transcendence producers Kate Cohen and Marisa Polvino are attached to the project. Kenny Golde (who most recently adapted Isaac ASimov’s End of Eternity) will be writing the screenplay.

The 2008 novel was the winner of the Arthur C. Clarke Award. It’s about a man named Carl Marsalis who was genetically engineered by the U.S. government to be a new breed the ultimate military fighting machine. Marsalis and his fellow “Thirteens”, branded as mutants by a frightened public, are exiled to a desolate Mars colony. Marsalis manages to slip his way back into human society (and earn a nice living as well) as a skilled bounty hunter and hit man — until he is caught and lands in jail. But the government gives him a new choice: finish his days in prison or use his skills to capture another fugitive. The problem? That fugitive is another Thirteen, and a murderous psychotic one at that.

Adaptation Watch: A MONSTER CALLS by Patrick Ness

Screen Daily is reporting that author Patrick Ness has adapted his novel A Monster Calls into a screenplay for Focus Features, who will distribute the fantasy/drama in the U.S. in October 2016.

The story is about thirteen-year-old Conor O’Malley who, in addition to being bullied at school, has nightmares about his mother’s failing health. But the monster he sees outside his bedroom window is real. It’s an ancient tree come to life, who tells Conor stories and asks him to tell the truth. Conor’s relationship with the tree monster helps him come to terms with his mother’s illness. The idea for the book came from award-winning author Siobhan Dowd– whose premature death from cancer prevented her from writing it herself.

The film is being directed by J.A. Bayona, the director of The Impossible and the just-announced World War Z 2 (according to IMDB). Stars attached to the project include Felicity Jones (The Amazing Spider-Man 2) as the boy’s mother and Liam Neeson as the monster.

Adaptation Watch: BLACKBIRDS by Chuck Wendig Being Adapted for Starz

Congratulations to Chuck Wendig, who just announced that his novel Blackbirds has been optioned as a television show at the Starz channel.

Blackbirds is the first in the Miriam Black series. Here’s what the book description:

Miriam Black knows when you will die.

Still in her early twenties, she’s foreseen hundreds of car crashes, heart attacks, strokes, suicides, and slow deaths by cancer. But when Miriam hitches a ride with truck driver Louis Darling and shakes his hand, she sees that in thirty days Louis will be gruesomely murdered while he calls her name.

Miriam has given up trying to save people; that only makes their deaths happen. But Louis will die because he met her, and she will be the next victim. No matter what she does she can’t save Louis. But if she wants to stay alive, she’ll have to try.

File Under: Urban Fantasy [ Touch Of Death | The Future Is Written | Free Way | Surviving ]

As Chuck warns, there’s no guarantee that this is a done deal…but there are some good signs: the novel has been very well received; the executive producer/showrunner tied to the project (John Shiban) has had success at Starz with Da Vinci’s Demons; Shiban himself adapted the book; Chuck himself says that the project is an “appropriately faithful” adaptation of the book.

Adaptation Watch: Lev Grossman’s THE MAGICIANS Coming to the SyFy Channel

Deadline is reporting that the Syfy channel is developing a series based on Lev Grossman’s 2009 fantasy novel The Magicians.

Elevator-pitched as “Harry Potter for grown-ups”, The Magicians is a novel about a teenager named Quentin Coldwater who discovers that the magical world he’s discovered in books is actually real when he becomes enrolled in an exclusive college for magicians in upstate New York. Quentin learns that magic is not all it’s cracked up to be, but it does prepare him and his friends for an adventure upon graduation…one that’s both thrilling and dangerous.

The Magicians is the first book in a trilogy; it was followed by The Magician King (2011) and The Magician’s Land (coming in August 2014).

SyFy recently put the television adaptation of The Magicians into development. ASsociated with the production are Sera Gamble (former showrunner for Supernatural), John McNamara, and producer Michael London. Gamble and McNamara will write the script.

Adaptation Watch: Robert Silverberg’s Short Story “How It Was When the Past Went Away” Optioned for Film

Variety is reporting that Robert Silverberg’s short story “How It Was When the Past Went Away” has been optioned for film by Focus Features. The producers will be Wyck Godfrey and Marty Bowen of Temple Hill Entertainment, who also produced Twilight. The writers are brothers David and Alex Pastor.

The film is about what happens when the residents of city suffer as mass amnesia. In the story, a criminal drugs San Francisco’s water supply and people begin forgetting who they are and all the details of their lives. It follows multiple characters, each of whom is affected differently, through what reads like a disaster movie.

Adaptation Watch: Ray Bradbury’s SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES Gets Another Film Adaptation

Deadline is reporting that another film adaptation of Ray Bradbury’s classic 1962 novel Something Wicked This Way Comes is in the works.

The literary classic, which combines elements of fantasy and horror, is about two 14-year-old boys who visit a traveling carnival that is more than it appears. The carnival is run by the evil “Mr. Dark”, a mysterious figure trades dreams for souls; Mr. Dark bears a tattoo for every person that has been lured to the park by the possibility of living out their secret fantasies, and who subsequently became bound to servicing the carnival.
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