Sci Fi TV Development: Netflix Picks Up Black Mirror, AMC Orders The Preacher, Plus Adaptations of Island of Dr. Moreau, The Mist, and More in the Works

By | September 28, 2015

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.

The Fall 2015 season has just started off with still quite a number a debuts to come over the next few weeks, but there is plenty of development going on behind the scenes with some pretty big announcements coming out just recently.  Here is a round up of what I have seen over the last few weeks.

Updates:

black-mirror-netflixBlack Mirror: It was previously announced that this British sci fi / horror anthology would be getting a U.S. adaptation and Netflix has picked it up for twelve episodes (the first seven episodes of the British version are already available for streaming on that service).  As Bloody Disgusting describes the series

[It] taps into our collective unease with the modern world and each stand-alone episode is a sharp, suspenseful tale exploring themes of contemporary techno-paranoia. Without questioning it, technology has transformed all aspects of our lives; in every home; on every desk; in every palm – a plasma screen; a monitor; a Smartphone – a Black Mirror reflecting our 21st Century existence back at us.

The same executive producers / showrunners that worked on the original will carry over to the new set of episodes, so it looks like this will be more of a continuation than a reboot.  It will likely bow at some point during 2016.

The Preacher: AMC continues to move forward with more genre entries as it has officially ordered a television series based on The Preacher comic book created by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon.  The press release gives a summary of the show’s premise:

Preacher is the story of Jesse Custer (Dominic Cooper, “Agent Carter”), a conflicted Preacher in a small Texas town who is inhabited by a mysterious entity that allows him to develop a highly unconventional power. Jesse, his ex-girlfriend, Tulip (Ruth Negga, “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”), and an Irish vampire named Cassidy (Joseph Gilgun, “This Is England”) embark on a journey to, literally, find God.

Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg are working on the television adaptation and Breaking Bad‘s Sam Catlin will be onboard as showrunner.  AMC is targetting mid-2016 for show’s television debut.

Development:

Neverwhere: Hunger Games director Francis Lawrence is looking to revive/reboot Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere for television.  It was originally a six episode mini-series that aired in Britain in the mid-90’s and Gaiman later adapted it into a novel.  Comicbook.com gives the following description of the show’s premise:

Neverwhere is an urban fantasy that focuses on Richard Mayhew, a mild-mannered Londoner who stumbles upon a bleeding girl in the street. When he takes the girl home, despite his fiancee’s protests, he is introduced to the dual worlds of London Above and London Below. Mayhew resolves to help the girl, named Door, but doing so may cost him his entire life as he knows it.

There is no indication on whether this is targeted as an ongoing series or just a bigger budget re-working of the original.  No network is attached at the moment, so the earliest this would hit the small screen would be mid-2016.

Island of Doctor Moreau: Sleepy Hollow co-creator Phillip Iscove is working on a television adaptation of H.G. Wells’ famous novel for CBS.  Variety offers the following description of the project:

Moreau will follow the ‘fiercely intelligent and fearless’ Dr. Katherine Moreau, who expands the boundaries of medicine through revolutionary scientific experimentation and treatments in her privately funded island hospital.

Dr. Moreau was of course a man in the original book, so the female version of the infamous doctor is a modern twist.  Currently CBS has ordered a script only and that could lead to a pilot which they would likely consider for the 2016-17 season.

The Mist: Yet another television version of a Stephen King story could be on the way as Dimension TV is developing a small screen take on the author’s book The Mist (which was previously brought to the big screen by former Walking Dead executive producer Frank Darabont).  The Wrap gives the following description of the project:

Using the book and movie as influences, the series will tell an original story about a seemingly innocuous mist that seeps into a small town but contains limitless havoc. From psychological terrors to otherworldly creatures, the mist causes the town residents’ darkest demons to appear forcing them to battle the supernatural event and, more importantly, each other.

This one is very early in the production stages with no network attached, so it would not make it to television until mid-2016 or later.

Weaveworld: The CW is currently looking at adapting this Clive Barker horror/fantasy book to the small screen.  Deadline Hollywood gives the following description of the premise:

An app designer teams up with a young pastry chef who has just discovered that she is destined to be guardian of a mythological realm that can be accessed through a portal in an old Savannah mansion. Together, they fight an epic battle with evil forces who are vying for control of the magical world. 

This would likely be a show that network will consider during next year’s Pilot season as a possible addition to the 2016-17 schedule

Sleepless: Hulu is working on adapting the book Black Moon by Kenneth Calhoun into a series titled Sleepless.  According to Deadline Hollywood, the series “chronicles the outbreak of an insomnia epidemic, with the story told intimately through the eyes of an ensemble of complicated characters.”  This would likely bow on the streaming service at some point during 2016

Trapped: Sarz’s Ash vs. Evil Dead has not had its Fall debut yet (set for October 31st), but the network is already looking to add another horror comedy to its lineup.  Rob Zombie will executive produce Trapped which, according to Deadline Hollywood, “takes places over a single night in the home of a wealthy family under attack by a murderous cult.”  If this one goes to series, it would be looking at a 2016 bow.

Cleverman: The Sundance channel has greenlighted six episodes for this sci fi series which is a joint production with ABC in Australia.  The press release describes the show as being about

a group of non-humans battling for survival in a world where humans feel increasingly inferior to them, and want to silence, exploit and kill them. Central to the drama is the story of two estranged Indigenous brothers who are forced together to fight for their own survival. Otherworldly creatures also emerge into this fragile and dangerous place, in this action-packed new series.

This one is targeting a 2016 debut.

Brides of Dracula: NBC did not have much success with Dracula two seasons ago, but they appear to believe that the Count’s brides will attract more viewers.  They have ordered a pilot called Brides of Dracula from Arrow/The Flash producer Greg Berlanti.  Deadline Hollywood describes it as “a sexy reimagining of Dracula as a family drama with a trio of strong, diverse female leads, a show about empowered women and the things they do to maintain wealth, prestige, legacy — and their non-traditional family.”  This will likely be included in the crop of pilots that NBC will review as candidates for the 2016-17 season.

 

 

 

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