9:00am PT by Lesley Goldberg
'Westworld' Creators Set Futuristic Drama Series 'The Peripheral' at Amazon
Days before the highly anticipated second season of Westworld debuts on HBO, creators Lisa Joy and Jonathan Nolan are looking to their next project.
Joy and Nolan, via their Warner Bros. Television-based Kilter Films banner, are set to adapt William Gibson's book The Peripheral as a drama for Amazon Studios. The project landed at Amazon in a competitive situation, with the retailer/streaming outlet handing out a script-to-series order. (Meaning that should the script for the drama come in well, it would be picked up straight to series rather than going through the traditional pilot process or pay a sizable financial penalty.)
The Peripheral revolves around Flynne Fisher, a woman in a near-future America in which technology has started to subtly alter society. Flynne discovers a hidden connection to a very different reality — and the dark future of her own.
Scott B. Smith (who earned an Oscar nomination for adapting 1998's A Simple Plan) will pen the script and executive produce alongside Nolan, Joy and their Kilter Films topper Athena Wickham. Steven Hoban (Splice) and his producing partner Vincenzo Natali (Westworld) also will exec produce, with the latter set to direct the drama. The potential series is a co-production between Warner Bros. Television and Amazon Studios.
For his part, Gibson is considered to have pioneered the sci-fi subgenre known as cyberpunk and coined the term "cyberspace" in his 1982 short story Burning Chrome. His works include Neuromancer and The Difference Engine. The Peripheral, published in 2014, spawned a sequel, Agency, due this month.
At Amazon, The Peripheral arrives as the company is looking to find its version of Game of Thrones under a mandate from CEO Jeff Bezos. To that end, Amazon Studios and new head of programming Jennifer Salke have developed a genre-focused slate that includes a Lord of the Rings TV series, Consider Phlebas and a reboot of Hanna, among others.
For their part, married duo Nolan and Joy adapted Michael Crichton's Westworld to become a hit for HBO. The series ranks as HBO's most-watched freshman drama ever, and scored 22 Emmy nominations. They each have separate overall deals with Warners. Their Kilter banner also counts CBS' Person of Interest as well as interactive and transmedia marketing projects around Westworld, including special spots for the Super Bowl and interactive experiences at events including SXSW and San Diego Comic-Con.
Joy and Nolan are repped by WME and Bloom Hergott. Smith, who also wrote the screenplay for Keanu Reeves feature Siberia, is with ICM Partners, Circle of Confusion and Behr Abramson. Natali, who has directed Orphan Black, Hannibal and American Gods, is repped by CAA and the Gotham Group. Hoban, who produced Splice and Oscar-winning animated short Ryan is with CAA and Holmes Weinberg.
Season two of Westworld premieres Sunday on HBO.