AMC has greenlighted The Terror, an anthology drama series based on the 2007 bestselling novel by Dan Simmons. Scott Free, Alexandra Milchan’s Emjag Productions, Entertainment 360 and AMC Studios are producing the 10-episode straight-to-series drama for a 2017 premiere.
Written by feature writer David Kajganich (True Story), the series is set in 1847, when a Royal Naval expedition crew searching for the Northwest Passage is attacked by a mysterious predator that stalks the ships and their crews in a suspenseful and desperate game of survival. It is a fictionalized account of Captain Sir John Franklin’s lost expedition of HMS Erebus and HMS Terror. Soo Hugh (The Whispers) has joined the series as co-showrunner alongside Kajganich.
“Dan’s novel is that rare combination of fascinating actual history, ground-breaking genre storytelling, and the complex character work of literature,” Kajganich said. Added Hugh, “As a long-time fan of Dan Simmons, the opportunity to join this project is a dream come true.”
Executive producers for the series are Ridley Scott and David W. Zucker of Scott Free, Alexandra Milchan (The Wolf of Wall Street) and Scott Lambert (Paranoia), principals at Emjag Productions, and Guymon Casady (Game of Thrones) of Entertainment 360, the content arm of Management 360.
“We’ve been focused on developing this incredible story for television with these great partners for a couple of years, and we think it provides rich dramatic material but also an opportunity to explore the anthology format, which is something we’re extremely interested in and offers some unique possibilities,” said Joel Stillerman, president of original programming and development for AMC and SundanceTV. “Originality is still something that gets our attention every day, and the very unique mixing of historical non-fiction with a gripping and imaginative science fiction overlay in Dan’s novel is something that we hadn’t seen before. That, combined with an exceptional team behind the project, made this something we really wanted to bring to air on AMC.”
The Terror has been in the works for 3 years at AMC where Scott Free had a first-look deal. Under that pact, the company is producing drama Marvel (working title), inspired by the story of Jet Propulsion Laboratory co-founder Jack Parsons, which recently set up a writers room in anticipation of a potential straight-to-series order at AMC.
Scott Free’s series portfolio also includes CBS’ The Good Wife and the upcoming BrainDead, PBS’ Mercy Street, Amazon’s The Man In The High Castle and FX’s Taboo.
The Terror marks the latest genre-flavored series entry on AMC, which is riding high on the success of The Walking Dead horror franchise. The network also has The Preacher comic book adaptation coming up.