David Cronenberg's Scanners trying again at TV adaptation

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Lucas Siegel
Sep 27, 2017

Heads will be exploding soon on the small screen if a Scanners TV adaptation goes through. David Cronenberg's 1981 cult classic is once more up for a remake, this time as a TV series under Media Res and Bron Studios.This is the third attempt at a remake of Scanners, and the second for TV. The previous film and TV attempts both came from Dimension Films in 2007 and 2011.

Media Res EP Michael Ellenberg and Bron executive producers Aaron L. Gilbert and Danielle Reardon are teaming with Pierre David, an EP on the original film, and Rene Malo and Clark Peterson, who were attached as producers on the last two attempts at rebooting the franchise. No other members of the creative team or details were announced in Deadline's report on the project.

Scanners was the story of ConSec, a security firm that hoped to use the titular "scanners" and their powers of telepathy and telekinesis as high-end agents. The first volunteer to be tested by ConSec's scanners is one himself, and a much stronger one (hence, those famed exploding heads). What follows is a twisting and turning story with rival groups fighting superpowered battles and viewers trying to figure out if there's a "good" and "evil" side.

A TV series would seem to be a good fit for a Scanners reboot, with a longer-form exploration of just what scanners are, what they can do, and the rivalry between ConSec and the leader of the underground scanners, Darryl Revok (Michael Ironside in the original). The question is, will the increased presence of these kinds of stories, a mature look at superpowers in a more realistic world, help or hurt the chances of this being made (and then being a success)? If it goes for a darker and more mature rating, and touches on the modern paranoia of surveillance, it could definitely explore new territory in a crowded landscape.

What do you think? Would you tune in for a small screen Scanners?