The original show is barely two years old, but Métal Hurlant Chronicles is getting a reboot. Transporter series producer Atlantique Productions has signed Doctor Who and Being Human writer Jamie Mathieson to script its new take on the sci-fi comic brand. Métal Hurlant: Origins will be an English-language co-production with Paris-based WE Productions, producers of the initial series, the first two seasons of which aired on France 4, and on Syfy Channel in the States in 2012 and 2014. It was based on the French sci-fi and horror comics anthology created in 1974 by Jean Giraud (better known as Mœbius), Philippe Druillet, Jean-Pierre Dionnet and Bernard Farkas. The first series had a small cult following, and included such actors as Scott Adkins, Michael Jai White, James Marsters, Dominique Pinon, Kelly Brook and Rutger Hauer.
Each episode of the original consisted of a self-contained story taking place on a different planet with different characters. The episodes were linked only by the notion that an asteroid — the titular Métal Hurlant — passes the planet in question during the events of the story, changing the destiny of anybody whose path it crosses. A key aspect of the show’s new incarnation, Atlantique says, is that it will depart from the anthology format used in the first two seasons to become a serialized story with a seasonal arc and a recurring cast of characters. The hourlong series is currently in development with production eyed for early 2015 and delivery in the third quarter.
The idea of going in a new serialized direction is to have more time to develop a link between the audience and characters, “and where we could explore the mythology of the Métal Hurlant,” says Guillaume Lubrano, creator and producer of the first two seasons.
Head writer Mathieson says, “Métal Hurlant is an iconic comic and the wellspring from which a lot of fledgling UK comics talent took their inspiration. Without Heavy Metal there would be no 2000AD, no Judge Dredd and my childhood would be a much duller place. I am therefore immensely proud to have been invited to helm this redefinition of one small corner of the immensity that is the Heavy Metal universe.”
Atlantique has a mandate to make big-budget international drama. Credits include Borgia and Transporter which launches next month on TNT in the U.S. with Frank Spotnitz in the showrunner’s seat.
Here’s a teaser for Métal Hurlant Chronicles that aired on Syfy last April: