Fox has given a pilot order to The Passage, a drama series based on Justin Cronin’s fantasy book trilogy. The high-profile project, which previously had a pilot production commitment, hails from Liz Heldens (Friday Night Lights), Felicity co-creator Matt Reeves, Scott Free and 20th Century Fox TV.
Written by Heldens, The Passage begins as a character-driven government conspiracy thriller and morphs into a post-apocalyptic saga with vampires. The series spans over a century and focuses on a young girl named Amy who must save the human race.
Heldens executive produces alongside Reeves and Adam Kassan via 6th & Idaho and Ridley Scott and David W. Zucker via Scott Free Productions. Cronin is co-producer. 20th TV, where Heldens and Reeves’ 6th & Idaho are under overall deals, is the studio. Clayton Krueger will oversee for Scott Free and Rafi Crohn for 6th & Idaho.
The Passage‘s road to the screen started in 2007 when, in a fierce bidding situation among film studios and top producers, Fox 2000 landed the first book — then half-written — for $1.75 million for Scott Free to produce. Originally developed as a feature, the producers eventually determined that the property would be better served as a TV series. The project migrated to sister studio 20th TV, which, working with Scott Free, attached Heldens because she loved the books and she hit it off with the producers.
The Passage trilogy by Cronin includes the best-selling eponymous first book, published in 2010 by Random House’s Ballantine Books, which was followed by The Twelve in 2012 and The City of Mirrors earlier this year.
This is Fox’s second drama pilot this season, joining the X-Men-themed Marvel project.
Heldens serves an executive producer on Seth MacFarlane’s upcoming space dramedy. 6th & Idaho also has a put pilot at NBC for Family Honor, written by Nkechi Carroll. Since Felicity ended in 2002, Reeves — who created and executive produced the the cult WB dramedy with J.J. Abrams — has been focused on feature directing, helming Abrams’ Cloverfield, Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes and followup, War For the Planet of the Apes.
Scott Free has several series on the air, including The Man in the High Castle, Mercy Street, Taboo and the upcoming Good Wife spinoff, The Good Fight and The Terror.