Warners, King take sci-fi flyer


Producer Graham King has set up Dan Simmons' award-winning science fiction book series "Hyperion Cantos" at Warner Bros., with Trevor Sands on board to adapt the first two books as one feature. King is producing via his GK Films banner.

The first book, "Hyperion," won the Hugo Award for best novel in 1990, while the second, "The Fall of Hyperion," was nominated for a Nebula Award for best novel.

"Hyperion" deals with a space war, with most of the action taking place on a planet named Hyperion, known not only for its electricity-spewing trees but also for the Time Tombs, large artifacts that can move through time. The tombs are guarded by a monster called the Shrike, which impales people on metal trees.

King acquired the rights to the series several years ago, but its structure, inspired by Boccaccio's "Decameron" and Chaucer's "Canterbury Tales," and its multiple timelines made the task of adapting it into a feature unwieldy and challenging.

Brought in by GK Films' Grey Rembert and Gail Lyons, Sands won over the execs by taking a selective approach to the two novels' multiple points of view in a way that managed to coherently and unconfusingly tell the story.

Lynn Harris is overseeing at Warners.

Sands co-wrote and directed the 2002 indie "Inside," starring Jeremy Sisto. Other writing credits include the Sony sci-fi project "Resurrection," Dimension's "Six Billion Dollar Man" and an adaptation of David Brin's sci-fi novel "Startide Rising" for Paramount and producer Mace Neufeld.

He is repped by Endeavor and manager Jewerl Ross.

Borys Kit reported from Los Angeles; Gregg Goldstein reported from New York.