'Dominion' Lands Pilot Order as Syfy Bulks Up on Originals

Legion One Sheet - H 2013

Legion One Sheet - H 2013

Syfy is looking for a few good dramas for 2014.

The cable network on Friday officially handed out a pilot order to Dominion, an adaptation of the 2010 feature Legion, as the network continues to ramp up its original programming in a push to flesh out its 2014 lineup.

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From Universal Cable Productions, Dominion is described as a supernatural action drama set 25 years in the future after a war between an army of angels and mankind has transformed the world. The drama follows the journey of a rebellious young soldier who discovers he's the unlikely savior of humanity.

Legion co-writer/director Scott Stewart will direct the pilot and executive produce alongside Bold Films' Michel Litvak and David Lancaster. Vaun Wilmott, who is also penning Syfy's miniseries development project Ringworld, will write and co-exec produce.

The project comes as Syfy looks to fill out its original scripted lineup behind the second season of Defiance and Ron Moore's newly greenlighted drama, Helix. The network is looking to add five or six new original scripted projects for 2014, with the potential to hand out short orders to a handful of projects.

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"We're looking at short orders, maybe eight to 10 [episodes] as opposed to 13," Syfy president of original programming and co-head of original content at UCP Mark Stern recently told The Hollywood Reporter. "Some may be [split runs of] 10 and 10. Our goal is to do five or six original scripted series a year and a big tentpole event miniseries that could also possibly serve as a backdoor pilot to a series as well, the way that Battlestar Galactica did. It's an exciting time for us."

In addition to Dominion, Syfy is near a series order to another film adaptation -- Terry Gilliam's Bruce Willis starrer 12 Monkeys, which will likely be picked up straight to series with film producers Chuck Roven and Richard Suckle of Atlas Entertainment on board. Terry Matalas (Nikita, Terra Nova, Star Trek: Enterprise) and Travis Fickett (Nikita, Terra Nova) will pen the script, with 24's Jon Cassar on board to direct the project, which hails from Universal Cable Productions.

"We're really trying to figure out what our next year is going to be," he added. "We have Helix in January; we're trying to figure out what our summer series is going to be. We have a lot of different options. We know that Defiance is going to come back in the summer, and the last six episodes of Warehouse 13 are going to be back along with Defiance. Then there's this big gray zone after that of what follows. We definitely have a miniseries we want to try to do for December of 2014 -- Jamie Foxx's [five-episode horror anthology] is a series of half-hours we might do for Halloween of 2014. We're looking to do a big four-hour miniseries -- a tentpole mini -- at the end of 2014, and we're trying to figure out what that's going to be."

Among the miniseries in contention are Timur Bekmambetov's fantasy-action reimagination of The Wizard of Oz, called Warriors of Oz, with a search underway for a writer for the Universal Cable Productions entry. Bekmambetov will executive produce and potentially direct the story of a warrior from present-day Earth transported to a postapocalyptic future Oz, where he must team with three other warriors -- Heartless, Brainless and Coward -- in order to defeat the Wizard.

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Syfy also has minis Ringworld and Arthur C. Clarke's Childhood's End adaptation from Michael DeLuca.

"We have a half-dozen scripts that are all pretty amazing in their own way," Stern said of Syfy's development pipeline. "It's a return to our roots in terms of science fiction: cool, interesting, push-the-genre science fiction. Some we're looking at doing straight to series, because you really want to give them the flexibility and do a closed-ended, arced run. Some of them are going to be traditional pilots, and then we'll decide and they may be a bit more episodic."

Dominion joins a development roster that also includes Bryan Fuller's High Moon and Prooffrom M. Night Shyamalan, among others.

E-mail: Lesley.Goldberg@THR.com