Rounding up the stories of note from the past week relating to science fiction and fantasy television. You can see an archive of posts at this link.
Pilot Season is Here
It’s that time of year when the broadcast networks place pilot orders for shows that they will consider for the upcoming season. The demand for pilots has been slowing the last few years as the networks are making more direct-to-series orders, but there are still several of interest to sci fi and fantasy fans among the current crop. I will be looking at these in more detail in an upcoming post, but here is a rundown of the notable pilots that have been ordered so far. ABC has officially ordered the pilot for The Greatest American Hero reboot which will have a female lead of Indian-American origin. NBC has ordered Manifest from Robert Zemeckis which is being referred to as a very Lost-like missing plane drama. FOX has moved the long-gestating vampire saga The Passage, based on the Justin Cronin books, from last year to the current pilot season. The CW still has not given up on a Charmed reboot and has a pilot for that in the works. And that network will also be looking at the Supernatural spin-off Wayward Sisters which aired as an episode of the series on January 18th. More orders could be forthcoming and I will be posting the full list of these with commentaries soon.
Netflix Could Pick Up Third Cloverfield Movie
The third of J.J. Abrams’ Cloverfield films, previously known as The God Particle, has been in limbo since getting bumped from two release dates. Now word has broken that the streaming service Netflix could be picking it up. This film will allegedly follow a group of astronauts stranded in space after the Earth disappears. It is directed by Julius Onah and written by Oren Uziel and Doug Jung. It currently has a tentative April 2018 release date but could shift from a theatrical bow to premiering on the streaming service. The first two movies in the Cloverfield universe are Cloverfield (2008) and 10 Cloverfield Lane (2016).
Development: MaddAddam Series in the Works, Dark Tower Series Still Moving Forward
Paramount Television and Anonymous Content have purchased the rights for the MaddAddam book trilogy from The Handmaid’s Tale author Margaret Atwood with plans to adapt it to a television series. Hollywood Reporter gives the following description of the story:
The trilogy tells a harrowing, cautionary and inspirational story of a global pandemic and the end of mankind. It follows a small group of survivors who are left to shepherd a new race to inherit the world. It centers on Jimmy, a boy disillusioned with the all-powerful corporations who rule civilization and whose best friend will develop the drug that wipes out humanity; Toby and Ren, two members of the cult “God’s Gardeners” who fight to survive on the margins of society; and Zeb, one of the founders of “God’s Gardeners.”
The big screen adaptation of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower may have underwhelmed, but word is that the television series is still moving forward and will start shooting this Summer. No network is attached at this point and not much detail is known about the series, but King had previously said that it would be a complete reboot.
FX has ordered a pilot for a television reboot of of the New Zealand produced film What We do in the Shadows. That 2014 horror comedy was a mockumentary that focuses on a group of vampires living in Wellingtion, New Zealand. The FX series will move the setting to the United States.
The Prisoner Comic by Jack Kirby and Gil Kane Will Finally Get Released
Back in the late 60’s, comics legends Jack Kirby and Gil Kane produced an adaptation of the classic dystopian television series The Prisoner. That project was abandoned, though, and the work they completed was never published. But Titan Comics dug deep into the vault and has pulled out the complete first issue they produced along with 18 pages of Kane’s pencils for a second issue. This will be collected along with the complete Steve Englehart script for the second issue in the upcoming The Prisoner: Original Art Edition. That will then be followed by a new series in the same universe that will focus on the “successor” to Number 6, the protagonist from the original series.
Sci Fi TV Schedule: Altered Carbon Debuts Next Week, Castlevania Set for Summer 2018 Return
Mid-Season continues to deliver new shows as Netflix’s cyberpunk series Altered Carbon, based on the Richard K. Morgan book of the same name, has its debut next Friday. All of the first season episodes will be available for streaming that day. Two shows will be wrapping up next week as Syfy’s Happy! has its season finale on Wednesday and NBC’s The Good Place has its season finale on Thursday. Netflix has indicated that its animated Castlevania series will return with its eight-episode second season this Summer, though a specific debut date has not been set. You can see the full Mid-Season schedule of sci fi and fantasy shows at this link and you can get a preview of the shows that will debut in Spring or later at this link. And you can keep up with the weekly listings at this link.
More Sci Fi TV News
Constantine, played by Matt Ryan, will be back on The CW’s Legends of Tomorrow when that show returns on February 12th in its new Monday 8 PM EST timeslot (Supergirl will go on break for a month). You can see some pics from that episode at this link.
Josh Friedman is no longer aboard TNT’s upcoming television adaptation of Snowpiercer. Friedman, who penned the series pilot, has left as showrunner due to creative differences.
Joanne Whalley has been cast is Season 3 of Netflix’s Daredevil as Sister Maggie, a character from the comics that has important ties to Matt Murdock’s past.
Last Week’s Post: Simon Pegg and Nick Frost TV Series in the Works, Sabrina Will Not Attend Riverdale, and More Read