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

George RR Martin_Nightflyers_Inset - Getty - H 2017
Getty Images; Courtesy of St. Martin's Press

Syfy is fast-tracking George R.R. Martin's Nightflyers.

The NBCUniversal-owned cable network has picked up the drama based on the Game of Thrones creator's novella to pilot.

The news comes a month after Syfy put the Universal Cable Productions drama in development as part of its upfront presentation to ad buyers.

Based on Martin's 1980 novella and the 1987 film of the same name, Nightflyers 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.

Jeff Buhler (Jacob's Ladder) will pen the script and executive produce the Universal Cable Productions project 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.

"We are looking forward to diving deeper into George R.R. Martin’s chilling world of Nightflyers,” Bill McGoldrick, exec vp scripted development at NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment, said Friday in a statement. “The script that Jeff delivered encapsulates this classic sci-fi horror story and adapts it to a platform where we can truly explore the depths of madness.”

The Nightflyers pilot pickup comes as Syfy is rebranding its on-air look as part of a greater push to focus on science fiction. As part of the move, Syfy recently picked up Superman prequel Krypton and graphic novel take Happy to series. This marks the first of Syfy's new pilot crop. Still to be determined is the fate of 2016 pilot The Machine.