'Westworld' Creators' Futuristic Drama 'The Peripheral' Gets Amazon Pickup

Based on William Gibson's book of the same name, the project was put in development in April 2018 with a script-to-series commitment.
Left, David Livingston/Getty Images; Right, courtesy of Berkley
Lisa Joy and Jonah Nolan

Westworld creators Lisa Joy and Jonathan Nolan have landed their first series order at Amazon.

The duo's take on William Gibson's futuristic novel The Peripheral has been picked up straight to series at the streaming giant the husband-and-wife writing and producing duo now call home. An episode count has not yet been determined.

Writer Scott B. Smith (A Simple Plan) will serve as showrunner on the drama, originally put in development back in April 2018, that revolves around Flynne Fisher, a woman trying to hold together the pieces of her broken family in a forgotten corner of tomorrow's America. Flynne is smart, ambitious and doomed. She has no future. Until the future comes calling for her. Joy and Nolan will exec produce the drama via their Kilter Films banner. The series hails from Warner Bros. Television, Joy and Nolan's previous home before they departed in April for a rich nine-figure overall deal with Amazon.

In addition to Smith, director Vincenzo Natali (In the Tall Grass), Nolan, Joy, Athena Wickham (Westworld) and Steven Hoban (In the Tall Grass) will also exec produce.

"Thirty-five years ago, William Gibson invented the future. With The Peripheral he brings us another look, and his vision is as clear, intoxicating and terrifying as ever,” Nolan and Joy said in a joint statement. “All of us at Kilter are incredibly proud to be supporting Vincenzo and Scott's brilliant vision for bringing Gibson's work to the screen.”

The Peripheral was developed by former Amazon Studios head of genre programming Sharon Tal Yguado, who was instrumental in bringing Joy and Nolan to the retail giant/streamer. The exec exited the company in March. Joy and Nolan, who also have other high-profile projects in the works at Amazon, will continue to showrun HBO's Westworld and produce The Peripheral as both projects stemmed from their previous overall with Warners. Sources note that when factoring in the couple's deal to remain on Westworld for another three seasons, the value of their Amazon deal clocks in at an estimated $200 million.

"We’re thrilled to announce The Peripheral as our first project with Jonah, Lisa, Athena and their talented team at Kilter Films,” said Amazon Studios head Jennifer Salke. “This story calls for a masterful level of talent to bring acclaimed author William Gibson’s science fiction thriller to life. We are excited to partner with Warner Bros. Television, Oscar-nominated writer Scott B. Smith and Vincenzo Natali in bringing this fantastic new series to our global Prime Video customers.” 

A premiere date has not yet been determined.

The Peripheral is the latest genre play for Amazon, which is also hard at work on its Lord of the Rings TV series. Other genre series include Carnival Row, The Boys, The Expanse, Invincible, Them and Wheel of Time, among others.