Development Roundup: Danger Girl, the Culture series, and new Robert Rodriguez sci-fi thriller

Contributed by
Feb 22, 2018, 8:08 PM EST (Updated)

Good news, genre fans, as lots of intriguing projects are starting to take shape.

Author Iain M. Banks' Culture series is heading to the small screen. Amazon Studios has picked up the rights to the first book in Banks' series, Consider Phlebas. The book was published in 1987 and marked Banks' first entry into science fiction. The 10-book series is set in an interstellar socialist utopia called the Culture, and follows Horza, a rogue agent searching for a missing Culture "Mind," an artificial intelligence that could hold the key to wiping out the progressive society.

Dennis Kelly, creator of Utopia, will executive produce and write the pilot for Amazon. “Iain Banks has long been a hero of mine, and his innate warmth, humor and humanism shines through these novels,” Kelly told Deadline. “Far from being the dystopian nightmares that we are used to, Banks creates a kind of flawed paradise, a society truly worth fighting for—rather than a warning from the future, his books are a beckoning.”

On the big screen, Robert Rodriguez has teamed with mega-monster specialist Max Borenstein on a sci-fi thriller called Hypnotic. Details are being kept secret, according to The Hollywood Reporter, but it is described as "a grounded cop thriller with sci-fi elements."

Hypnotic is an original script from Rodriguez that Borenstein is rewriting. Rodriguez is well known for his indie "grindhouse" style films, including El Mariachi, From Dusk Till Dawn, and Machete. Next up from Rodriguez is the big-budget Alita: Battle Angel, adapted from the manga by Yukito Kishiro. Borenstein wrote 2014's Godzilla and 2017's Kong: Skull Island. His next project is Godzilla: King of the Monsters.

And finally, Danger Girl has landed a screenwriter. The comic book, created by artist J. Scott Campbell and writer Andy Hartnell, debuted in 1998. The story follows Abbey Chase, an adventurer who is reluctantly recruited into a secretive organization and sent to locate several mystical objects and keep them out of the hands of the evil Hammer Syndicate. Newcomer Umair Aleem will write the film. Campbell and Hartnell will produce alongside Martin Moszkowicz of Constantin pictures.