Syfy has picked up David S. Goyer’s Superman prequel Krypton and Happy! a graphic novel adaptation starring Christopher Meloni, to series. In addition, the network has put in development a supernatural thriller based on George R.R. Martin’s (Game of Thrones) novella Nightflyers. This is one of two Martin literary properties that had been optioned by Syfy sibling Universal Cable Prods. for TV series, along with Wild Cards. Martin is not involved in the projects as he is under an exclusive deal at HBO.
Krypton and Happy!, which I hear would undergo some recasting, are two of the four pilots from Syfy’s most recent pilot cycle. Of the other two, The Machine is still going through testing and evaluations while The Haunted is not going forward.
Going forward, Syfy plans to grow its original series programming in four sub-genres:
- Core sci-fi programming, exemplified by the well received The Expanse;
- Young adult fantasy fare in the model of hit The Magicians, whose ratings grew in Season 2;
- Paranormal/supernatural with tinge of horror in the vein of Channel Zero. Syfy and USA Network recently announced The Purge TV series with Blumhouse based on the popular horror franchise, which will air on both networks;
- Superhero/comic book-based series like the newly picked up Krypton and Happy!
Based on DC characters created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, Krypton is set two generations before the destruction of the legendary Man of Steel’s home planet. It follows Superman’s grandfather (Cameron Cuffe) — whose House of El was ostracized and shamed — as he fights to redeem his family’s honor and save his beloved world from chaos. Georgina Campbell, Elliot Cowan, Ann Ogbomo, Rasmus Hardiker, Wallis Day, Aaron Pierre also star, along with Ian McElhinney.
Krypton hails from Warner Horizon Scripted Television and is executive produced by Goyer through his Phantom Four banner. Damian Kindler will serve as executive producer and showrunner.
The pilot teleplay was written by Goyer and Kindler, from a story by Ian Goldberg (Once Upon a Time) & Goyer, with Colm McCarthy serving as director and co-executive producer.
Based on Grant Morrison and Darick Robertson’s graphic novel, Happy!, from Universal Cable Productions, follows Nick Sax (Christopher Meloni) – an intoxicated, corrupt ex-cop turned hit man – who is adrift in a world of casual murder, soulless sex and betrayal. After a hit gone wrong, his inebriated life is forever changed by a tiny, relentlessly positive, imaginary blue winged horse named “Happy” (Bobby Moynihan).
Morrison and Brian Taylor (Crank, Gamer) co-wrote the pilot teleplay and executive produce. Neal Moritz, Pavun Shetty and Toby Jaffe of Original Film, Meloni and showrunner Patrick Macmanus will also executive produce. Taylor directed the pilot.
Nightflyers, based on Martin’s epic novel, is set in the future on the eve of Earth’s destruction, when a crew of explorers journey on the most advanced ship in the galaxy, The Nightflyer, to intercept a mysterious alien spacecraft that might hold the key to their survival. As the crew nears their destination, they discover that the ship’s artificial intelligence and never-seen captain may be steering them into deadly and unspeakable horrors deep in the dark reaches of space. (you can watch a trailer for the book below)
Nightflyers is being developed with executive producers Gene Klein (Suits), David Bartis (Mr. and Mrs. Smith) and Doug Liman (Suits) of Hypnotic; Alison Rosenzweig (Jacob’s Ladder, Windtalkers) and Michael Gaeta (Jacob’s Ladder) of Gaeta Rosenzweig Films; Lloyd Ivan Miller and Alice P. Neuhauser of Lloyd Ivan Miller Productions and Jeff Buhler (Jacob’s Ladder), who will write the adaptation. Robert Jaffe (Nightflyers (1987)) will produce. Universal Cable Productions is the studio.
“Syfy is partnering with the biggest names in the business to tell the boldest stories in the sci-fi world, and I can’t think of any bigger and bolder than Krypton, Happy! and Nightflyers,” said Chris McCumber, President, Entertainment Networks, NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment.
Nightflyers, joins previously announced series in the works Brave New World, Hyperion and Stranger In a Strange Land.