EXCLUSIVE: John Scalzi’s 2012 comedic sci-fi novel Redshirts is headed to the small screen. FX has teamed with veteran feature producer Jon Shestack (Dan In Real Life) and producer-director Ken Kwapis (Sisterhood Of The Traveling Pants) and his partner Alexandra Beattie to develop a limited series based on the book, which won the 2013 Hugo Award. Search is underway for writers to pen the adaption, with Kwapis set to direct the opening episode. He, Shestack and Beattie executive produce.
Set in the 25th century, Redshirts follows the adventures of five new recruits on the Starship Intrepid who come to realize that the ship’s crewmembers are dying at an alarming rate. Their investigation leads to the mind-bending discovery that a science fiction television show, produced in the early 21st century, has somehow “intruded” upon their reality and “warped” it. In other words, the lives of the crew are following the course of a television narrative over which they have no control. “Redshirts is a madcap, hyper-meta tale,” Shestack said. Added Kwapis, “If Jorge Luis Borges had been a staff writer on the original Star Trek, he would no doubt have concocted a story like Redshirts.”
Most recently Kwapis and Beattie, under their In Cahoots banner, developed the Showtime comedy Happyish, which received a series order last month but has been put on hold in light of the tragic death of star Philip Seymour Hoffman. The company, repped by UTA and Code Entertainment, previously produced Outsourced for NBC. Shestack, repped by Alan Grodin, currently is developing the novel Carter Beats The Devil at Warner Bros, with Phil Lord and Chris Miller directing. Scalzi is represented by Joel Gotler of IPG. FX has been at the forefront of the current longform resurgence with a slew of limited/event series projects. Its first such series, Fargo, premieres April 15.