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The scribe's Stephen King-esque horror novella tells the story of a retired judge who loses his wife of 50 years. Acting against the advice of his children, he moves into the lake house where he and his spouse enjoyed some of their happiest times. Once there, he finds a curious vine aggressively throttling the couple's favorite tree. The virulent plant eventually proves to have a mind of its own as it invades the judge's house... and body.
"I hadn't realized that for the thirty years I've been a screenwriter, I'd never been able to describe what a character was actually thinking or feeling — only what they said and did," Koepp said in a statement. "I love movie writing, but it's such a joy to write prose and bring the focus back to the words in my Audible debut. And to have my friend and colleague Kevin Bacon bring life and soul to them is an honor and delight."
Descender follows a young, humanoid robot named Tim-21 trying to make his way through a universe where androids are outlawed. He soon "discovers that he’s the missing link between a fleet of life-annihilating constructs and modern robotics," reads the official description. The book nabbed Nguyen an artwork Eisner Award in 2016. Ascender takes place 10 years later in a world where machines have been replaced by magic. The sequel is centered around Mila, a young girl who sets out "on an epic quest to find robotkind and its fabled boy messiah, Tim-21 before it’s too late."
Lemire and Nguyen are producing the television adaptation alongside Lark Productions president Erin Haskett.
"We are thrilled to be collaborating with the creative powerhouse team of Jeff and Dustin," Haskett said in a statement. "Descender/Ascender is a beautifully-crafted saga, examining the tolls of technology on nature and humanity, which feels very timely for television. Tim-21 and Mila’s epic journey of self-discovery brings us hope for humanity and reminds us of the importance and value of love and family."
"The world of Descender and Ascender just keeps growing, and Dustin and I are very happy to be working with Lark to bring it to televisions screens as well. Their passion for the comics and devotion to telling the story the right way has us both very excited," Lemire said in a statement of his own.
"It's definitely going to be an entirely new adventure to see our characters come to life onscreen and share them with a whole new audience," added Nguyen.
Lemire's works are a very hot commodity in Hollywood these days. As of this writing, shows based on Black Hammer and Sweet Tooth are both in active development. Robert Downey Jr. is producing the latter title for Netflix. A film version of Descender might also be in the cards, as Sony has owned the big screen rights since 2015. Jesse Wigutow was hired to write the project a year later.
The show is said to contain "quirky characters with hilarious adventures and unwavering friendship." It follows a former raincloud, a brawny mailman, and their magical pet walrus as they deliver packages to the unusual denizens of Mount Middlemost and the six territories of Somewhere. "As this loving and unconventional trio grows closer, they remain blissfully unaware that they have been brought together by one fateful stormy event," teases the official synopsis.
Dave Johnson has been tapped as co-executive, producer, and story editor.
"Middlemost Post captures everything we look for in a new series — an imaginative and truly unique world, lovable characters who care deeply about each other and big comedic moments to drive the story," Ramsey Naito, Executive Vice President, Nickelodeon Animation said in a statement. "The series is created by our very own John Trabbic, with writing partner Dave Johnson, and we can't wait to bring to life the characters and places in this artist-driven series for our global audience."
Casting and premiere announcements will be made in the coming months.
Here's a quick breakdown of the main characters:
Parker J. Cloud: an exuberant raincloud, lives and works in the Middlemost Post Office
Angus: a burly, rule-abiding mailman who cherishes his solitude and values efficiency
Russell: a magical pet walrus whose stomach is so big that it doubles as a storage room.