Syfy picks up Arthur C. Clarke's Childhood's End as six-hour miniseries

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Sep 3, 2014, 3:08 PM EDT (Updated)

It’s been more than a year since we heard anything about Syfy’s potential Arthur C. Clarke adaptation Childhood’s End, but the network has finally given it a green light.

The six-hour miniseries adaptation was first put into development along with a crush of new projects early last year, and the studio has now pulled the trigger. The project will be produced by Michael De Luca (The Social Network) and Akiva Goldsman (A Beautiful Mind).

An interesting bit? It’ll be directed by Doctor Who alum Nick Hurran, and penned by Who writer Matthew Graham. They obviously already have some experience dealing with aliens, so this tale of a peaceful alien invasion that essentially turns the world into a near-utopia should be right up their alley.

Clarke published Childhood’s End in 1953, and the ambitious novel tells the story of alien Overlords who come to rule the Earth and end all war, but everything is not exactly as it seems. Their arrival sets off a whole new series of events that could eventually cost us the planet we call home.

Syfy president Dave Howe had this to say about the series to The Hollywood Reporter, which offers some hints about which direction they'll be taking the story:

“As we aggressively develop scripted programming over a diverse creative landscape, we want our content to reflect the greatest sci-fi stories from the past and the present. The powerful themes of Childhood’s End, from the fearsome price of peace and prosperity, to the very question of what constitutes a human being, remain fascinating and timeless. This will be the most ambitious project for Syfy in many years.”

Assuming Syfy manages to bring the book to the small screen, they’ll have succeeded where many have failed. Legendary director Stanley Kubrick tried to make it in the 1960s but couldn’t get the rights, and a version by Abraham Polonsky never made it out of the scripting phase. As late as 2002 Universal was kicking it around, with Kimberly Peirce attached to direct at the time.

There’s no specific timeline for when the series might arrive, but we’d think mid-to-late 2015 at the earliest.

(Via Deadline, The Hollywood Reporter)