Amazon Developing Snow Crash, Lazarus and Ringworld Series
After their tremendous success adapting Philip K. Dick’s The Man in the High Castle to television, Amazon is getting on the sci-fi bandwagon in a big way. According to Variety, Amazon is developing three major works of sci-fi literature as series, including Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash, Larry Niven’s Ringworld series, and the Image Comics title Lazarus. All three have been in various stages of development for some time.
Based on Neal Stephenson’s cult cyberpunk novel, Snow Crash will be a one-hour science fiction drama set in futuristic America. In reality, Hiro Protagonist delivers pizza for Uncle Enzo’s CosoNostra Pizza Inc., but in the Metaverse he’s a warrior prince. Plunging headlong into the enigma of a new computer virus that’s striking down hackers everywhere, he races along the neon-lit streets on a search-and-destroy mission for the shadowy virtual villain.
A co-production with Paramount Television, Snow Crash is executive produced by Joe Cornish (Ant-Man, Attack the Block) and Frank Marshall (Back to the Future, Jurassic World).
After the success of Attack the Block, writer/director Joe Cornish was lined up to helm Snow Crash at Paramount Pictures as his next film in 2012. The book, published in 1992, has been heralded as a modern classic in the genre and a film version has been long-anticipated. Frank Marshall’s wife and production partner Kathleen Kennedy was originally intending to produce Snow Crash through Kennedy/Marshall before she became involved in the Star Wars franchise.
Syfy/The Sci-Fi Channel made two failed attempts with MGM in 2004 and 2013 to bring Larry Niven’s Nebula and Hugo Award-winning sci-fi book series from the ’70s to TV as a miniseries. MGM and Amazon will again attempt tell the tale of Louis Gridley Wu, a bored man celebrating his 200th birthday in a technologically-advanced future Earth. Upon being offered one of the open positions on a voyage, Louis joins a young woman and two aliens to explore Ringworld, the remote artificial habitat the size of one million Earths beyond “Known Space.” As they crash land on this enormous structure, they discover the remnants of ancient civilizations, technology beyond their wildest dreams, mysteries that shed light on the very origins of man and, most importantly, a possible salvation for a doomed Earth.
While there is no info on the new team, the 2013 iteration of Ringworld was meant to be adapted by writer Michael Perry (The River, Paranormal Activity 2) as a four-hour mini-series Syfy even executive produced by William S. Todman Jr. and Edward Milstein.
Based on a comic book by Greg Rucka (Marvel’s Jessica Jones) and Michael Lark, Lazarus is set in an alternative near future where the world has been divided among 16 rival families, who run their territories in a feudal system. Each family has allies and enemies among the other families. To crush uprisings and fight wars, most families have a Lazarus: a one-person kill squad.
Rucka will serve as writer and executive producer on Lazarus alongside Michael Lark (Captain America: The Winter Soldier) and Angela Cheng Caplan.
In 2015 Legendary TV and The Amazing Spider-Man producer Matt Tolmach secured the rights to the series. As with the current iteration, Rucka was penning the script for the pilot episode of the series in addition to executive producing with Lark and Tolmach. A five-time Eisner award-winner, some of Rucka’s other work has been adapted, including the 2009 film Whiteout, based on his mini-series, with the series Queen & Country set up at Fox as a vehicle for Ellen Page.