Amazon is developing a series based on William Gibson’s science fiction novel The Peripheral.
Variety reports the series is being considered for a straight-to-series order, with Scott B. Smith writing and executive producing, and Lisa Joy and Jonathan Nolan (creators of the HBO remake of Westworld) also signed on as executive producers.
Amazon seems to have shifted much of its original TV strategy away from critically-acclaimed-but-niche shows and toward titles that have the potential to become bigger hits. Most famously, it’s spending hundreds of millions of dollars on a Lord of the Rings prequel series, but it’s also developing adaptations of science fiction classics Ringworld and Snow Crash.
The Peripheral takes place in two different futures, which are mysteriously connected through a virtual reality game. One is relatively close to our present, the other is several decades further along, after society has collapsed.
Gibson’s early novels and short stories helped to popularize the cyberpunk aesthetic that Hollywood has happily adopted for its grungier science fiction films, but Gibson himself hasn’t had much success at the movies — he wrote an early, unused draft for Alien 3, and adaptations of his best-known novel Neuromancer seem to be constantly drifting in and out of development.
He did, however, write the screen adaptation of his short story Johnny Mnemonic. It’s not a great movie, but it does include an amazing early depiction of virtual reality, as well as what’s probably the best 90 seconds of Keanu Reeves’ career.