Ridley Scott

Development: TNT orders sci-fi drama from Ridley Scott; Dresden Files returns to TV

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Oct 8, 2018

You hear that? It's time for another roundup of development news from the exciting world of entertainment! This time around we've got androids raising human children, illegal toast (yes, you read that correctly), and wizard detectives. Strap in and say a prayer, because where we're going, we don't need roads...or strange dystopian rules involving bread. 


Up first is Ridley Scott (Alien: Covenant), who will be producing and directing the sci-fi drama, Raised by Wolves, for TNT, writes The Hollywood Reporter.

The network put in a straight-to-series order for the show, which will revolve around androids bringing up human children in galactic colonies, a premise reminiscent of the world building done in Scott's 1982 classic Blade Runner. As the humans on the new planet begin to quarrel over religious beliefs, the robots learn that almost nothing can stop a human being once they have become enrgaed beyond reason.

Aside from some work early in his career and a pilot that didn't get picked up in 2013, this is a rare moment of the 80-year-old filmmaker venturing into the world of scripted television. 

"I'm always searching for new frontiers in the sci-fi genre and have found a true original in Raised by Wolves — a wholly distinct and imaginative world, full of characters struggling with existential questions: What makes us human? What constitutes a family? And what if we could start over again and erase the mess we’ve made of our planet? Would we survive? Would we do better?" said Scott in a statement. "Given TNT's impressive run of bold, quality programming, this feels like exactly the right home for this kind of ambitious television."

The show will be written by Aaron Guzikowski (Prisoners) and produced by Turner's Studio T, Madhouse Entertainment, and Scott's Scott Free Productions. He'll serve as an executive producer, alongside Guzikowski, David W. Zucker, Jordan Sheehan, Adam Kolbrenner, and Robyn Meisinger.

"Ridley Scott is simply the best there is in the sci-fi genre," said Sarah Aubrey, executive vp original programming for TNT. "Besides directing some of the most important sci-fi films of all-time, Ridley has created iconic characters from Alien’s Ripley to Prometheus’ Elizabeth Shaw. We're thrilled to have Ridley do the same for us as we look forward to his vision of Aaron's complex and futuristic Mother. It's incredibly rare to be able to make television that both challenges one's intellect and also thrills the excited fangirl side — Raised by Wolves is that rare show that does both."


Up next is the news that Fox 21 is developing a television adaptation of Jim Butcher Dresden Files book series, reports Deadline

With the first book published in 2000, the series is told from the point of view of Harry Dresden, a private investiagor/wizard, who chases down and solves supernatural mysteries in Chicago. In the last 18 years, 14 more books have been released. 

Dresden Files Book 15

Credit: Penguin Books

A nice mix of both hardboiled detective fiction and fantasy elements, this is one property that screams "TV SHOW!!!" In fact, the books did have a short-lived adaptation on the Sci Fi Channel back in 2007, running for 12 episodes and starring Paul Blackthorne (Arrow) in the title role. 

Ileen Maisel is producing with Temple Hill Entertainment's John Fischer and Julie Waters.


Lastly, we come to that illegal toast we mentioned earlier. That would be Topic Studios purchasing the TV/film rights to Cory Doctorow’s sci-fi novella, Unauthorized Bread.

Published by Tor Books, the novella is "part of a series of four short stories titled RADICALIZED," according to the official release. Set in the near future, Unauthorized Bread takes place in a version of America ruled entirely by greedy corporations...OK, even more greedy than they already are today.

The story focuses on a refugee, Salima, who moves to Boston only to discover that every facet of life, including the use household appliances, comes with a price. For instance, the toasters only accept "authorized toast," while the refrigerators only stock "authorized groceries."

Homer toaster

“We're in the grips of a long-overdue debate over whether technology will improve our lives or destroy us,” said Doctorow, "but that debate has been oversimplified to the point of uselessness. The question isn't 'which technology is best?' but rather, 'How do we make technology that serves us, rather than exploiting us?' The answer always starts with control: if you can't control your technology, there's a good chance it's being used to control you."

Frustrated at such injustices, Salima leads a rebellion against the corporations in an effort to "jailbreak" the appliances, risking arrest, deportation, and even death. 

“Cory is a brilliant and outspoken writer and critic whose novels are guaranteed to make you question the deepest passions driving people - greed, love, ambition, fear. We’re excited to partner with him on Unauthorized Bread to bring this sure-to-thrill series to life on screen, said Lisa Leingang, SVP of Programming at Topic Studios.


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