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Entertainment One / Secret Location

Development roundup: Humans gets remade for China, Tom King writing dystopian drama series, more

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May 15, 2019, 1:01 PM EDT (Updated)

The genre-sphere is churning with all sorts of news and updates as hot new projects enter the mix. 

First up, Humans is getting remade for China. Production and distribution company Endemol Shine Group has announced that its subsidiary Endemol Shine China will partner with a local production house to create a local Mandarin-language adaptation of AMC’s sci-fi drama. Filming on the Mandarin series, which stars Ray Ma and Stephy Qi, has begun in Shanghai.


Endemol Shine Group

Set in the year 2035 when technology, particularly artificial intelligence, infiltrates and influences every aspect of daily life, Humans takes place in a world where the latest must-have gadget for busy families is a "Synth," a highly developed android servant that appears indistinguishable from human beings. So, you know, there’s no potential for trouble there. 

The Mandarin series is based on Humans U.K., produced by Kudos for Channel 4 and AMC, which was adapted from the original Swedish series of Real Humans produced by Sveriges Television and Matador Film. The third season of Humans finished its eight-episode run earlier this month on Channel 4 in the U.K., and AMC in the U.S. Channel 4 will also distribute the Chinese version internationally.


Next up, Tom King is writing a one-hour dystopian drama series being developed by Topic Studios and Playground. The series, States of America, is set in a divided U.S. under foreign occupation following an unprovoked act of war for the sake of a tentative peace. The series plans to explore a world where the old, small differences that divide this country have become the war cries of new nations.

Former CIA officer-turned-author King is the scribe behind the recently announced Heroes in Crisis for DC. King just won his latest Eisner Award for Best Writer last Friday at San Diego Comic-Con. 

Warner Bros. is taking over distribution duties on Legendary's upcoming Pokemon movie Detective Pikachu from Universal, per The Hollywood Reporter. Warner Bros. is also taking a stake in the film. 

THR has cited unnamed sources that have speculated that this move is a prelude to Legendary going back to Warner Bros. as its distributor (the two entities parted ways in 2013). The current distribution deal between Universal and Legendary expires at the end of the year, and although the folks at Universal aren’t talking, word has it that the studio does not plan to renew the partnership. (Universal and SYFY WIRE are both owned by NBCUniversal.) 

Ryan Reynolds will co-star in Detective Pikachu with Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’s Justice Smith and Kathryn Newton of Big Little Lies fame. Goosebumps director Rob Letterman will helm the film, which begins shooting this January in London. 


Kathryn Newton

Speaking of Kathryn Newton, we've got another news item regarding the actress! Netflix has ordered 10 episodes of a Lord of the Flies-meets-Lost YA drama from Chris Keyser (The Last Tycoon) and Marc Webb (The Amazing Spider-Man), various media outlets are reporting. Newton is set to star in the series. 

The as-yet-untitled show follows a group of teenagers who are mysteriously transported to a facsimile of their New England town without their parents. As they try to figure out what’s happened and how to get home, they must establish order and form alliances if they want to survive. 

Newton will play Allie, the teen who becomes the leader of the mysterious teenage world. Keyser will write the pilot and executive produce alongside Webb, who will direct. Production is set to begin in September near Boston.


The Great C - Screenshot 2

Entertainment One / Secret Location

And finally, Entertainment One’s Secret Location studio announced that it will adapt Philip K. Dick’s short story “The Great C” into a cinematic virtual reality narrative. 

The Great C takes place in a post-apocalyptic world in which what remains of humanity is ruled by an all-powerful supercomputer known as the Great C. Each year, a village is forced to send a young person on a pilgrimage to appease the mysterious machine. When Clare’s fiancé is summoned for this year’s pilgrimage, she must decide whether to accept the rules of her harsh society, or fight back.
The Great C will debut at the Venice Film Festival, then be offered as a timed-exclusive at select location-based venues beginning this September. The title will then be available for Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and PlayStationVR in late 2018.

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