NBCUniversal International Studios has optioned rights to Image Comics’ graphic novel series Trees. First published in 2014, the sci-fi works are by comic book writer and New York Times bestselling author Warren Ellis (Red) and illustrator, Jason Howard. Adapting for the screen will be London-based Hardy Son & Baker, the production company founded by Tom Hardy with whom NBCU International Studios has a first-look deal. NBCUIS has also picked up Adam Hamdy’s forthcoming crime thriller Pendulum, which HSB will also produce.
Trees is set 10 years after the arrival of vast alien presences who stand on the earth’s surface like… trees. They do not move or communicate and appear not to acknowledge human life and society. The series follows the silent pressure and strange changes they exert on global communities from China to the Arctic Circle. Like the comics, the drama will combine sci-fi, crime and relationships.
Ellis and Howard’s previous work together includes graphic novel series, Scatterlands. On his own, Ellis’ author credits include Red, the source material for Summit’s hit feature franchise; as well as Transmetropolitan, Fell, Gun Machine and the underground classic novel, Crooked Little Vein.
In another rights deal for Hardy Son & Baker, NBCUniversal International Studios has optioned Pendulum, the crime thriller by author and screenwriter Adam Hamdy. NBCU will develop the property as a TV series which will be produced by HSB. The U.S. book rights have simultaneously been taken by Quercus.
Hamdy will work with NBCUniversal International Studios to adapt the novel and serve as executive producer. Billed as a high-concept thriller about the nature of our digitally connected society, Pendulum is the first in a planned trilogy. It focuses on an everyman who is targeted for death by a serial killer, setting off a twisting, dangerous journey through a digital underworld.
The book is due for publication in the UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand via Headline this November. Quercus will publish Pendulum in North America in June 2017.
Hamdy adapted David Mitchell’s Booker-nominated novel, Number9Dream, and also directed and produced 2013 comedy Pulp.
Hardy formed Hardy Son & Baker with partner Dean Baker in 2012. Since then, the company has focused on developing and producing bold, sophisticated content with mass international appeal. It’s currently in post-production on drama series Taboo for BBC One and FX. Hardy created it with his dad Chips and his Peaky Blinders and Locke collaborator Steven Knight. The eight-parter debuts in 2017.
On its feature slate Hardy Son & Baker is working on the screen adaptation of comic series 100 Bullets for Warner Bros/New Line, and an Untitled Don McCullin Project in collaboration with Working Title Films and based on the life of the legendary British war photographer.