News, updates, and (mostly viable) rumors relating to development of science fiction / fantasy television productions. If you have tips or more info on these or other productions, please pass them along in the comments.
I haven’t noticed any new sci fi / fantasy television development announcements over the holidays, but yesterday brought some significant news with Amazon deciding to scrap Chris Carter’s planned series The After. That series–about eight strangers who come together during apocalyptic times–was part of Amazon’s pilot season in in early 2014 where viewers vote on which entries from a group of pilots should continue as a series. After the voting was tallied, Amazon greenlit a series, but almost nothing has been heard about the project until the streaming service announced yesterday that it was not going forward. Amazon had little to say about the decision apart from the following, rather generic comment: “We have decided to not move forward with The After. We would like to thank Chris Carter, the phenomenal cast, crew and producers for all their efforts.”
It is unclear whether any episodes were produced beyond the pilot (the Wikipedia entry is somewhat confusing on the subject, saying in one place that no episodes were produced and in another that the completed episodes would stream in February 2015). It is also unclear if maybe budget issues led to the decision or if it was a matter of creative differences (though I was under the impression that Amazon has extended a fair amount of creative control to their original productions). I would expect that Chris Carter will try and shop the project around to other venues and the clout he brings should generate some interest. For now, though, the series appears to be on indefinite hold.
But Amazon already has another pilot season on the way as they will release a new crop of tryout episodes for viewers to vote on starting on January 15th. Among these are The Man in the High Castle based on the Philip K. Dick book and the children’s fantasy Niko and the Sword of Light. You can read the full description for both of these below.
The Man in the High Castle
Based on Philip K. Dick’s Hugo Award-winning 1962 alternative history, The Man in the High Castle considers the question of what would have happened if the Allied Powers had lost World War II. Almost 20 years after that loss, the United States and much of the world has now been split between Japan and Germany, the major hegemonic states. But the tension between these two powers is mounting, and this stress is playing out in the western U.S. Through a collection of characters in various states of posing (spies, sellers of falsified goods, others with secret identities), The Man in the High Castle provides an intriguing tale about life and history as it relates to authentic and manufactured reality. The hour-long dramatic pilot stars Alexa Davalos (Mob City) as Juliana Crain, Luke Kleintank (Pretty Little Liars) as Joe Blake, Rupert Evans (The Village) as Frank Frink, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa (Mortal Kombat Legacy) as Tagomi, Joel De La Fuente(Hemlock Grove) as Inspector Kido, Rufus Sewell (Eleventh Hour) as John Smith and DJ Qualls (Z Nation) as Ed McCarthy. The pilot was directed by David Semel (Madam Secretary, Heroes) and written by Frank Spotnitz (The X-Files), both serving as Executive Producers. Also executive producing are Ridley Scott (Blade Runner) and David W. Zucker (The Good Wife), with co-executive producer Jordan Sheehan of Scott Free Productions (The Good Wife, The Andromeda Strain), and Executive Producers Stewart Mackinnon and Christian Baute of Headline Pictures (The Invisible Woman). In addition, Isa Dick Hackett will executive produce and Kalen Egan will co-executive produce on behalf of Electric Shepherd (The Adjustment Bureau). Christopher Tricarico (May in the Summer) is also Executive Producer.
Niko and the Sword of Light
Niko and the Sword of Light is based on the motion graphic comic byImaginism Studios, Inc., the studio behind character and concept designs for Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland and Men in Black 3, and Studio NX (The Carrot and Rabbit Show, Tree Fu Tom). Written by Rob Hoegee (Generator Rex, League of Super Evil, Storm Hawks, Teen Titans) and animated byTitmouse (Motorcity, Metalocalpyse, Turbo FAST, Randy Cunningham: 9thGrade Ninja), Niko and the Sword of Light follows ten-year-old Niko who is the last of his kind in a strange, fantastical world. He must embark on an epic quest to defeat the darkness and bring the light back to his land. Armed with his magic sword, brave Niko journeys to the Cursed Volcano, making new friends and powerful foes along the way, all while uncovering secrets about his mysterious past. Tom Kenny (SpongeBob SquarePants) and Jim Cummings (Shrek) lend their vocal talent.
Transparent Mozart in the Jungle