War of the Worlds cover

Development roundup: The Time Machine, Revenge of Magic getting adaptations

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Aug 18, 2018, 5:50 PM EDT (Updated)

Science and magic are indistinguishable at a certain level of complexity. So of course we’re reporting on a time-travel story and a coming-of-age wizard tale at the same time. They’re basically the same anyway. Both properties are getting adaptations — though the first is far better known than the second.

First up, time travel. And not just any time travel. The seminal time-travel story. According to Deadline, Sky is in the “very early stages of development” of remaking an adaptation of H.G. WellsThe Time Machine with Nick Payne, writer of BBC drama Wanderlust, and director Kibwe Tavares.

After Sky had Jed Mercurio and Chris Lunt work on a version of the novella last year, the new adaptation of the landmark time-travel drama will likely live on Sky Atlantic. Sky’s had Wells on the mind lately, especially since last year was the author’s 150th birthday — that’s when the company began adapting The Time Machine and the four-part Sky Arts series The Nightmare Worlds of H.G. Wells. Ray Winstone played Wells in the series.

The story has been adapted relentlessly as one of the founding texts of science fiction, so this new take will likely fall in line with its predecessors.


Another property getting adapted, Deadline reports, is the Revenge of Magic series from author James Riley — which doesn’t even hit bookstores until March of next year.

The rights to the books were recently acquired for development by Stampede. The story of the young Fort Fitzgerald, who is of course sent to go learn magic at a special school, goes to some interestingly dark places. Fitzgerald's father is killed right off the bat, the school is run by the government, and magic is widely acknowledged to be very, very dangerous.

The thing keeping it from sounding too Harry Potter-y? Only kids can unlock magic from ancient tomes. Consider us sold, no time travel needed.