4:00pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
'Stranger in a Strange Land' TV Series in the Works at Syfy
Syfy is ready to adapt one of the most famous sci-fi novels ever written.
The NBCUniversal-owned cable network is teaming with Paramount Television and corporate sibling Universal Cable Productions to develop Robert Heinlein's 1961 sci-fi classic Stranger in a Strange Land as a TV series.
The book centers on Valentine Michael Smith, a human who comes to Earth in early adulthood after being born on Mars and raised by Martians. The novel explores his interaction with — and eventual transformation of — terrestrial culture. It predicted many of the movements and messages of the 1960s — from free love and hippie communes to organized attempts at world peace.
Brad Fischer, James Vanderbilt and William Sherak of Mythology Entertainment, Scott Rudin, Garrett Basch and Eli Bush of Scott Rudin Productions as well as Joe Vecchio of Vecchio Entertainment will executive produce. Mythology's Julia Gunn will serve as a co-exec producer.
"From my point of view, Stranger in a Strange Land isn’t just a science-fiction masterpiece … it also happens to be one of my favorite books ever,” NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment chairman Bonnie Hammer said Tuesday in a statement. "The story is timeless and resonates more than ever in today’s world. As a fan, I can’t wait to see it come to life as a world-class television event.”
Stranger in a Strange Land marks the third collaboration for Paramount TV and UCP. It joins USA Network's Shooter and Spike TV's Pendergast, the latter of which is in development.
"Paramount TV is excited to have the opportunity to adapt Robert Heinlein's seminal work of science fiction," said Paramount TV president Amy Powell. "This novel has resonated with me since college and there's a reason it has continued to find new fans for over 40 years. Syfy’s understanding of imaginative and futuristic programming is unmatched, making them an ideal partner for this series."
For Syfy, Stranger marks the latest high-profile project to be developed as the cabler looks to double down on more traditional science-fiction fare. Syfy's development slate include Superman prequel series Krypton, Grant Morrison's Happy, a reboot of The Machine and Aldous Huxley's beloved Brave New World. The cabler's roster of series includes 12 Monkeys, Wynonna Earp, Killjoys, Dark Matter, The Magicians, Van Helsing, The Expanse, Z Nation, Incorporated and anthology Channel Zero.