SYFY picks up George R.R. Martin’s Nightflyers, Netflix sailing the ship abroad

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Jan 4, 2018, 1:31 PM EST (Updated)

Before Game of Thrones became the biggest hit on television, George R.R. Martin penned the novel that would become its source material in 1996 -- the first of his A Song of Ice and Fire series. But sixteen years before that, he published a space-set novella called Nightflyers. Now, SYFY is hoping that too will set the TV world ablaze.

Though we’ve assumed as much for a while now, SYFY officially announced today its plans to pick up the Nightflyers series, starring Gretchen Mol (Boardwalk Empire) as Dr. Agatha Matheson. Universal Cable Productions and Netflix will co-produce the series in Ireland, with the streaming giant nabbing first-run rights outside the U.S.


Gretchen Mol in Boardwalk Empire (Image courtesy of HBO)

According to the official synopsis (via press release):

Nightflyers follows eight maverick scientists and a powerful telepath who embark on an expedition to the edge of our solar system aboard The Nightflyer - a ship with a small tightknit crew and a reclusive captain -- in the hope of making contact with alien life. But when terrifying and violent events begin to take place they start to question each other -- and surviving the journey proves harder than anyone thought.

Joining Mol are Eoin Macken (The Night Shift) as Karl D’Branin, David Ajala (Falling Water) as Roy Eris, Sam Strike (Timeless) as Thale, Maya Eshet (Teen Wolf) as Lommie, Angus Sampson (Fargo) as Rowan, Jodie Turner-Smith (The Last Ship) as Melantha Jhirl, and Brían F. O'Byrne (The Magicians) as Auggie.


Nightflyers by George R.R. Martin (Image courtesy of Amazon)

Jeff Buhler (Jacob’s Ladder) adapted Martin’s 30,000-word novella for the series, which opened up the famed author’s mind to how a multi-season series could work from the truncated source material. Buhler will also executive-produce alongside showrunner Daniel Cerone (The Blacklist).

Other execs include Doug Liman (Live. Die. Repeat), Alison Rosenzweig (Windtalkers), and Michael Gaeta (Jacob’s Ladder). Robert Jaffe, who wrote the screenplay for Nightflyers’ 1987 film adaptation, is slated to produce. Andrew McCarthy (Orange Is the New Black) will serve as producer-director, while Mike Cahill (I Origins, The Magicians) will direct the pilot episode.