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SYFY WIRE The Vampire Diaries

Development news: Chris Pratt takes on sci-fi epic Ghost Draft, J.J. Abrams launching new series, more

By Don Kaye & Josh Weiss
Chris Pratt

Chris Pratt is heading out on a new sci-fi adventure.

The movie in question is called Ghost Draft and it's described by Deadline as a "grounded live-action science fiction film with tentpole potential." Exactly what the potential is remains somewhat of a mystery, since there are no details available yet about the movie's actual plot.

The film will be directed by Chris McKay (The Lego Batman Movie) and is based on a script by Zach Dean that the company behind the project, Skydance, bought several years ago. Dean has since worked on a number of other genre projects, including an adaptation of the 1970s anime series Star Blazers (aka Space Battleship Yamato) and Voyagers, a biopic about Cosmos author Carl Sagan.

Pratt can currently be heard as the voice of Emmet in The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part, and was last seen dissolving into dust in Avengers: Infinity War. We're likely to see him reconstituted by the end of this April's Avengers: Endgame, while his future holds both Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 and the next Jurassic World movie.

J.J. Abrams

J.J. Abrams and his much-in-demand Bad Robot production empire are developing a new sci-fi comedy series titled They Both Die at the End for HBO, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Based on the book of the same name by Adam Silvera, the story takes place in a near-future world where everyone gets a phone call to notify them that it is the beginning of the last day of their life. The book follows a group of people as they go about their business during the final hours of their existence, which the TV show will presumably do as well.

The pilot is being written by Chris Kelly, who will also executive-produce it alongside Abrams and other members of the Bad Robot team. Should They Both Die at the End become a series, it will be the fourth Abrams property in production at HBO, including Westworld and two upcoming new shows, Demimonde and Lovecraft Country.

Abrams is also currently in post-production on a little movie you might have heard of, Star Wars: Episode IX.

Paul Wesley

Actor/director Paul Wesley, best known for playing Stefan Salvatore on all eight seasons of The Vampire Diaries, is developing a supernatural crime series called Possessed, based on a 2009 Korean property of the same name. The original show centered on a high school girl whose body is taken over by the angry spirit of her twin sister after the latter is killed in a fire. The living sister develops special powers, including super strength, and becomes the accomplice of a criminal psychologist who intends to use her in his own quest to fight crime.

It is not clear if Wesley intends to star as the psychologist character in the English-language version, although Deadline says he will be a producer on the project. Wesley was also a producer on the final season of The Vampire Diaries and directed a number of episodes of that show, along with episodes of Legacies, Roswell, New Mexico, and Shadowhunters.

Jack Osbourne and Katrina Weidman

The Travel Channel is unveiling a new series this spring called Portals to Hell. The show will star Jack Osbourne, son of metal legend Ozzy Osbourne and host of programs like SYFY's Haunted Highway and A&E's Ozzy and Jack's World Adventure, alongside paranormal investigator Katrina Weidman.

The pair will explore sites that are not just known for some of the world’s most notorious hauntings, but which are also purported to be connecting points to alternate dimensions or supernatural realms. The eight-episode, hour-long series will premiere on Travel Channel on April 19 at 9 p.m. ET/PT.

And finally, Apple, it seems, is ready to throw its hat into the streaming ring this spring.

CNBC reports that the multi-billion-dollar tech company is looking to launch its proprietary streaming service in late April or early May. In addition, Lionsgate, CBS, and Viacom "are expected to offer subscription streaming services on the Apple platform," per CNBC, with programming from networks like Starz and Showtime.

Netflix and Hulu won't be a part of Apple's streaming service in any way (understandably so), while HBO's involvement with it is, reportedly, currently up in the air.

Nevertheless, Apple has placed orders for a number of original shows, many of them genre projects such as Amazing Stories, See, For All Mankind, and Time Bandits, as well as untitled series from M. Night Shyamalan, Damien Chazelle, and Simon Kinberg.