Heroes and Star Trek‘s Zachary Quinto is set to star and executive produce Biopunk, an hourlong drama based on the book Biopunk: DIY Scientists Hack the Software of Life by Wired magazine’s senior business/technology writer Marcus Wohlsen. Chase Palmer, co-writer of the upcoming remake of Stephen King’s It, created the series and will write the script. He is executive producer along with The Gotham Group. Quinto and his longtime producing partner Neal Dodson of Before The Door Pictures will also executive produce.
The project falls under Gotham’s first-look deal at Legendary Television and was developed in-house.
Biopunk chronicles the underground world of bio-hackers—DIY garage scientists seeking to do for biotech what Steve Jobs did for personal computing. These are young and hungry guerilla scientists committed to democratizing DNA the way the internet did for information, with the ambition to build never-before-seen organisms that could solve the thorniest challenges in food, health, energy, and environmental protection. Bill Gates recently told Wired that if he were a teenager today, he would be hacking biology. “If you want to change the world in some big way,” Gates said, “that’s where you should start—biological molecules.” Quinto will play the iconoclastic leader of this movement who can’t wait for the future to get here fast enough.
Quinto is best known for his roles as Spock in the 2009 Star Trek and its sequels Star Trek Into Darkness and Star Trek Beyond, and as Sylar in sci-fi drama series Heroes. He received an Emmy nom for his performance in American Horror Story: Asylum, and also appeared on Girls and 24. Later this year he’ll be seen in Oliver Stone’s Snowden.
“Having spent some time in my career exploring the landscape of science-fiction — it is a particularly exciting step to delve into a world of science-fact,” says Quinto. “The unfathomably thrilling real-life work of bio-hackers is dramatically crafted with compelling and complex dynamics by Chase Palmer, and Marcus Wohlsen is a limitless source of insight into and information about this powerful and fascinating subculture. Legendary has been a great partner in the developmental phase of this project, and we are all beyond excited to assemble a first rate creative team and bring Biopunk to life.”
“The minute I was introduced to the world of Marcus’ book my imagination was captured,” says Palmer. “I knew immediately this edgy, activist, kick-down-the-walls subculture of citizen scientists was my way in to telling a bigger canvas story about the next great technological evolution no one knows is coming but will change everything: hacking life. I am pumped to be doing this with Legendary, which excels at smart event entertainment, and especially with Zachary Quinto, whose intelligence and charisma I built the series around.”
Quinto is repped by CAA, Untitled, and Jackoway Tyerman. Palmer is with WME, Gotham and Weintraub Tobin. Gotham is repped by CAA and Nelson Davis.