George R.R. Martin's 'Nightflyers' Picked Up to Series at Syfy

Netflix is negotiating with producers Universal Cable Productions for international and domestic rights to the drama based on the 'Game of Thrones' creator's novella.
Getty Images; Courtesy of St. Martin's Press
George R.R. Martin

George R.R. Martin has another drama coming to the small screen.

Syfy is near a deal to pick up the Game of Thrones creator's Nightflyers to series. Representatives from the NBCUniversal-owned cable network and producers Universal Cable Productions declined comment as multiple deals are still in the works. Among them: UCP is negotiating with Netflix for a second window domestic and first window international streaming deal.

Nightflyers, picked up to pilot in June after being put into development in May, is based on Martin's 1980 novella and the 1987 film of the same name. It is set in the future on the eve of Earth's destruction and follows a crew of explorers who journey on the most advanced ship in the galaxy, the Nightflyer, to intercept a mysterious alien spacecraft that might hold the key to their survival. As the crew nears their destination, they discover that the ship’s artificial intelligence and never-seen captain may be steering them into deadly and unspeakable horrors deep in the dark reaches of space. Production on the pilot is already underway; casting has not yet been determined. 

Jeff Buhler (Jacob's Ladder) penned the script and executive produces the UCP drama alongside Gene Klein (Suits), David Bartis (Mr. and Mrs. Smith) and Doug Liman (Suits) of Hypnotic; Alison Rosenzweig and Michael Gaeta (Jacob's Ladder) of Gaeta Rosenzweig Films; and Lloyd Ivan Miller and Alice P. Neuhauser of Lloyd Ivan Miller Productions. Robert Jaffe, who penned the feature film based on Martin's novel, is set as a producer. Martin is not involved, given his overall deal with HBO, where he's currently co-writing two of the four potential Game of Thrones follow-ups that are in the works. Dan Cerone (The Blacklist, The Mentalist) will serve as showrunner and Mike Cahill (Another Earth and Syfy's The Magicians pilot) will helm the first installment.

The Nightflyers series pickup comes as Syfy is fresh off rebranding its on-air look as part of a greater push to focus on science fiction. As part of the move, the cabler recently picked up Superman prequel Krypton and graphic novel take Happy to series. Nightflyers was part of a pilot crop at Syfy that also included The Machine, Haunted, Prototype and Tremors. The network has passed on The Machine, Haunted and Prototype, with the fate of Tremors still to be determined.

Syfy's scripted roster includes 12 Monkeys, Channel Zero, The Expanse, The Magicians, Killjoys, Z Nation, Wynonna Earp and Van Helsing. Blood Drive and Dark Matter were recently canceled.

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