Sci Fi TV Development: Multiple Star Wars Shows on the Way, Amazon Heads to the Hyborian Age
We already knew that Disney was working on a Star Wars live-action television series, but apparently the Mouse House has several shows set in that universe on the way. Top Mouse Bob Iger had the following to say about what they currently have in the works:
We are developing not just one, but a few Star Wars series specifically for the Disney direct to consumer app. We’ve mentioned that and we are close to being able to reveal at least one of the interties that is developing that for us. Because the deal isn’t completely closed, we can’t be specific about that…I think you’ll find the level of talent…on the television front will be rather significant as well.
Expect further updates on this in the coming weeks and months.
Amazon appears to be all-in with fantasy epics as it just released Britannia a couple of weeks ago (and that one is work checking out), and it has a Lord of the Rings prequel series in the works. Piling on to those, the streaming service has plans for a Conan the Barbarian TV series. Deadline Hollywood gives the following description of the project:
Conan retells the classic character’s story via a return to his literary origins. Driven out of his tribal homelands, Conan wanders the mysterious and treacherous world of civilization where he searches for purpose in a place that rejects him as a mindless savage.
The show comes with some genre pedigree as Ryan Condal (Colony), Miguel Sapochnik (Game of Thrones), and Warren Littlefield (The Handmaid’s Tale) are all attached. Expect Amazon to target 2019 to add the show to is lineup of originals and don’t expect Arnold Schwarzenegger to be reprising his role as Conan.
Amazon also has another genre series in the works: The Feed based on the novel by Nick Clark Windo. The Hollywood Reporter gives the following description for the project:
The London-set series, set in the near future, centers on the family of the man who invented an omnipresent technology called The Feed. Implanted into nearly everyone’s brain. The Feed enables people to share information, emotions and memories instantly. But when things start to go wrong and users become murderous, the family is driven apart as they struggle to control the monster they have unleashed.
The Story of Firefly Will Continue with Three New Novels
There has been some speculation that a Firefly revival could be on the horizon with Disney buying up FOX’s entertainment division. There is no official news on that at this point, but we will be getting some new Firefly stories in novel format starting this year. Titan Books has three novels on the way, and Joss Whedon will be overseeing them as consulting editor. Following is the rundown of the books given by Entertainment Weekly as well as the currently planned release dates:
Firefly: Big Damn Hero, by Nancy Holder (Oct. 2018)
Captain Malcolm Reynolds finds himself in a dangerous situation after being kidnapped by a bunch of embittered veteran Browncoats.
Firefly: The Magnificent Nine, by James Lovegrove (March 2019)
Jayne receives a distress call from his ex Temperance McCloud that leads the Serenity crew to danger on a desert moon.
Firefly: Generations, by Tim Lebbon (Oct. 2019)
The discovery of the location of one of the legendary Ark ships that brought humans from Earth to the ’Verse promises staggering salvage potential, but at what cost? River Tam thinks she might know . . .
Bryan Fuller Leaves Yet Another Show
Bryan Fuller has made his mark on television with several notable shows such as Hannibal, Pushing Daisies, and Wonderfalls (he was also showrunner for the first season of Heroes), but he has been having a hard time keeping steady work of late. He left Star Trek: Discovery early in the development stage due to creative differences, he departed from American Gods after its first season over budget disputes, and now he is out as showrunner for Apple’s upcoming reboot of Amazing Stories. Fuller actually got that project started at NBC, but the peacock network decided not to move forward with it and Apple picked it up as it makes its bid to compete with streaming services like Netflix and Amazon. But now Fuller is leaving that show citing the dreaded “creative differences”. According to Hollywood Reporter, Fuller wanted to do a Black Mirror-type show, but Apple is looking for something more family oriented. Fuller is quite the auteur who likes to take plenty of risks (just look at the first season of American Gods and the three-run of Hannibal as examples), whereas the networks likely want to play it safer with franchise shows. Also leaving Amazing Stories is Hart Hanson who had partnered with Fuller on the project, so Apple will need to bring in a whole new creative force for the show. Fuller had previously joined on to help with the upcoming Vampire Chronicles series, though his role was not completely clear on that one. Now that he has extra time on his hands, maybe he will take over showrunner duties. Meanwhile, American Gods has picked up Jesse Alexander as its new showrunner. He previously worked with Fuller on Star Trek: Discovery and Hannibal and also has the shows Lost, Heroes, and Alias on his resume.
Sci Fi TV on the Big Screen: V to be Rebooted as a Movie Trilogy
The 80’s event series V, which produced two mini-series and a short-lived ongoing series, is going through a second reboot as Desilu Studios is planning a movie trilogy with original creator Kenneth Johnson involved. That series, about aliens coming to Earth claiming they want to help humankind but actually having nefarious motives, was rebooted in 2009 by ABC but only lasted two seasons. Johnson had wanted to do his own continuation of the story titled V: The Second Generation, but ABC took the project in a different direction. Johnson’s story ended up becoming a novel that was released in 2008 and whether the new version will follow any of those plans or be a complete reboot remains to be seen.
Sci Fi TV Status Report: Once Upon A Time Heads to Its Not-So-Happy Ending
Word broke this week that ABC’s fantasy series Once Upon A Time will be ending after its current season. While the news does not come as a huge surprise, ABC Entertainment President Channing Dungey was talking the show up just last month during the TCAs and claimed the network was “cautiously optimistic” for an eighth season. But now it appears the network has decided not to stick with the show beyond the current year. That show wrapped up many of its major storylines with its sixth season, and the seventh year is a reboot of sorts with a cast shake up. The change has not gone over too well with fans, and the ratings are down considerably, even when you take into account its Friday move. It had a successful run, though, with seven seasons and over 150 episodes, and will live on for years in syndication. Be sure to follow CancelledSciFi.com and the Cancelled Sci Fi Twitter site for the latest ratings results and the renewal / cancellation status of your favorite shows.
Sci Fi TV Schedule: The Walking Mid-Season Trailer, Legends of Tomorrow Returns Next Week
AMC’s The Walking Dead returns for the second half of its eighth season in just over two weeks on February 25th. The network has released the trailer above to give you an idea of what to expect. Next week, The CW’s Legends of Tomorrow is back from its Winter break and Matt Ryan will be returning to the show as Constantine. LoT shifts to Mondays at 8 PM EST for the rest of its third season with Supergirl going on a second break until April. Also next week, Stargate: Origins debuts on the Stargate Command streaming service. That is a prequel series that follows the adventures of young Catherine Langford when the Stargate is first discovered. You can see the full schedule of sci fi and fantasy shows at this link and you can keep up with the weekly listings at this link.
More Sci Fi TV News
Billie Piper has teased on Snapchat that she has an upcoming project, and Doctor Who fans are suggesting a possible return to her role on the show as Rose Tyler.
Netflix has bought the film Extinction from Universal which has been completed but not given a theatrical release date. That alien invasion film stars Michael Peña, Mike Colter, and Lizzy Caplan and will likely debut on the streaming service at some point this year.
FX has added Doug Jones, Beanie Feldstein, Jake McDorman, and Mark Proksch to its upcoming pilot What We Do in the Shadows.
Last Week’s Post: Metropolis, New J.J. Abrams Series in the Works, New Trailers for Castle Rock and Stargate: Origins, and More Read