10:00am PT by Lesley Goldberg
George R.R. Martin's 'Nightflyers,' Starring Gretchen Mol, Officially Picked Up at Syfy
It's official: Syfy is moving forward with George R.R. Martin's Nightflyers.
The drama based on the novella from the Game of Thrones creator was unofficially ordered in September, when the NBCUniversal-owned cable network was in the midst of negotiations with Netflix to board as a co-producer. Those deals have now closed, and Syfy confirmed the series pickup in a release that also announced the drama's cast.
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 follows eight maverick scientists and a powerful telepath who embark on an expedition to the edge of our solar system aboard The Nightflyer — a ship with a small tight-knit crew and a reclusive captain — in the hope of making contact with alien life. But when terrifying and violent events begin to take place, they start to question each other, and surviving the journey proves harder than anyone thought.
Gretchen Mol (Boardwalk Empire) is set to star as Dr. Agatha Matheson. Eoin Macken (The Night Shift) will take on the role of Karl D'Branin. David Ajala (Fast & Furious 6) plays Roy Eris. Sam Strike (EastEnders) is Thale. Maya Eshet (Teen Wolf) is Lommie. Angus Sampson (Fargo) is Rowan. Jodie Turner-Smith (The Last Ship) is Melantha Jhirl, and Brian F. O'Byrne (Million Dollar Baby) rounds out the cast as Auggie.
Jeff Buhler (Jacob's Ladder) penned the script and executive produces the UCP drama alongside Daniel Cerone (The Blacklist), who will serve as showrunner. Exec producers also include 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. Andrew McCarthy will be a producer-director on the project. Mike Cahill will direct the pilot. Martin will be credited as an exec producer, though he is not expected to have a heavy hand in Nightflyers given his overall deal with HBO, where he's currently co-writing two of the four potential Game of Thrones follow-ups in the works.
Netflix will co-produce and have first-run rights to the show outside of the U.S. The Netflix involvement helps offset the costs associated with producing an ambitious series set in space. (The drama, produced in Ireland, received financial support from the government of Ireland through the minister for culture, heritage and the Gaeltacht and the Irish Film Board.)
Nightflyers joins a roster of scripted originals at Syfy that also includes Channel Zero, 12 Monkeys, Killjoys, The Magicians, Wynonna Earp, Happy, Krypton and more.