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The premium cable network has ordered a script of Martin’s werewolf noir novel The Skin Trade, the author announced Saturday.
Published in the 1980s, The Skin Trade was originally written for Night Vision 5, the fifth volume in the annual horror anthology published by Dark Harvest. Hailed as one of the best pieces of werewolf fiction, it went on to win the World Fantasy Award.
The rights were optioned by Mike the Pike Productions’ Mark B. Newbauer, who will executive produce the Cinemax version.
Here’s the official logline from Cinemax: “A collections agent who happens to be a werewolf and his friend, a private investigator, discover a dark secret behind a series of grisly murders in their decaying industrial city.”
To hear Martin tell it, the author “always thought there was a TV series” in the property — which has been republished over the years including as a comic book series and graphic novel.
Kalinda Vazquez (Prison Break, Once Upon a Time) will pen the script for Cinemax after Martin, Cinemax and his agents met with about a dozen writers.
According to Cinemax, Vazquez also will exec produce alongside Martin, Vince Gerardis, Paul Sansone, Rich Angell, Newbauer and Lizandro Cruz.
“Kalinda’s take on the story and the characters blew me away,” Martin wrote, explaining that his commitment to the next Game of Thrones book prevented him from taking on Skin Trade himself.
The Cinemax Skin Trade deal is a long time coming. Martin noted that it was Skin Trade he originally was trying to sell in 1991 when ABC picked up his ill-fated Doorways to pilot. “So we’re a few decades late,” Martin joked.
Martin and HBO are coming off an historic Emmy win for Game of Thrones. Skin Trade extends Martin’s deal with HBO/Cinemax after the best-selling author inked an overall deal with the premium cabler.
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