Cyberpunk sci-fi author William Gibson is a household name around speculative-fiction literary circles, so it's with a geeky thrill that news arrives of his Hinterlands story being eyed for a small-screen animated adaptation.
Hand-drawn animation specialists Last Studio Standing have optioned the rights to bring Gibson's harrowing 1981 short story to life as a short film and animated TV series, with aspirations for a second spinoff series if all goes according to plan. Hinterlands revolves around a Russian space station that enters a "Devil's Triangle in Space" vortex and vanishes, reappearing years later with no survivors aboard. Upon investigation into the tragedy, scientists discover that these specific coordinates are certain doom for any space vehicle that comes near.
“It is such a great story,” says Jonathan Kitzen, CEO of Last Studio Standing. “We know we can do more with it because animation is an all-powerful tool that can create anything. We plan on making something that looks like Gravity mixed with Blade Runner, and this story offers us a huge palette of possibilities, for about $100 million less than a traditional live-action film.”
The five-year plan is to complete a short film pilot to show in theaters by next year, which could attract network or studio interest for a TV series or even more ambitious feature project down the road. The first film that comes to mind is Event Horizon when the concept for Hinterlands is discussed, and I'm wondering how much influence Gibson's space disaster tale had on Paul W.S. Anderson's 1997 sci-fi horror movie.
The short fiction first appeared in Omni magazine in October of 1981, and you can read it in all its crackling intensity HERE,
Do you think Hinterlands is a perfect launching pad for a possible franchise, or has that territory already been mined to death?