In addition to the four titles, UCP also said its already-in-development series Welcome to Hitchcock — contemporary retellings of Alfred Hitchcock’s classic tales — will be penned by Beauty and the Beast scribe Evan Spiliotopoulos.
The new projects include an adaptation of Maggie Stiefvater’s bestselling book series The Raven Cycle, from executive producer-showrunner-writer Andrew Miller (The Secret Circle), Michael London and Hardwicke, who is attached to direct the pilot; Sand, a co-production with Imperative Entertainment, an action drama set in a world ravaged by ecological devastation, savage winds and shifting dunes and based on the books by Hugh Howey, to be adapted by Whitta, with the pilot directed by Forster; Sirens of Titan, being developed with Harmon and Evan Katz; and Lord of Light, based on the Hugo-winning science fantasy novel by Roger Zelazny to be produced by The Walking Dead‘s Gale Anne Hurd and Valhalla Entertainment.
The news comes after UCP has made development deals with the likes of horror-meister John Carpenter, Sam Raimi and more as it expands its scope.
UCP’s descriptions of the genre slate are below:
The Raven Cycle
Based on Stiefvater’s four rural fantasy novels, “The Raven Cycle” tells the story of seventeen year old Blue Sargent who becomes involved with a group of four privileged private school boys on a quest to find a source of mythical and mysterious power hidden deep in rural Virginia. The closer they get to taking control of their destiny, the more threatening their journey becomes – both physically and emotionally, as Blue discovers she’s fated to kill one of the boys. Michael London (“The Magicians”) of Groundswell Productions will executive produce alongside showrunner/writer Andrew Miller (“The Secret Circle”) and Catherine Hardwicke (“Twilight”). Stiefvater will serve as co-EP. Hardwicke is also attached to direct the pilot.
“Sand,” a co-production with Imperative Entertainment, is an action drama set in a world ravaged by ecological devastation, savage winds, and shifting dunes. At its center is a family who makes their way in this world as sand divers: the elite few who can travel deep beneath the desert floor to retrieve mysterious and valuable relics lost to the dust. Adrift in the wake of their father’s disappearance years ago, they rely on skill and each other to endure this ruthless environment where otherwise good people lie, sabotage, and kill in order to survive. The series has an impressively large canvas of works, while telling a compelling and intimate story based on the best-selling dystopian novels by New York Times bestselling author Hugh Howey, who is also set to executive produce. The novels will be adapted for television by Executive Producer Gary Whitta (“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”). The pilot will be directed by Marc Forster (“World War Z”) who will also executive produce along with his partner Renee Wolf (“All I See Is You”); Imperative Entertainment’s Dan Friedkin (“All The Money in the World”), Tim Kring (“Heroes”) and Justin Levy (“Teen Wolf”) will also serve as executive producers.
Siren of Titan
UCP is also working on “Sirens of Titan,” with Dan Harmon (“Rick & Morty”) and Evan Katz (“Small Crimes”). The story follows Malachi Constant, the richest man in 22nd-century America. He possesses extraordinary luck which he attributes to divine favor and has used to build upon his father’s fortune. He becomes the center point of a journey that takes him from Earth to Mars in preparation for an interplanetary war, to Mercury with another Martian survivor of that war, back to Earth to be pilloried as a sign of Man’s displeasure with his arrogance, and finally to Titan where he again meets the man ostensibly responsible for the turn of events that have befallen him.
Lord of Light
The studio also announced it has optioned “Lord of Light,” based on the Hugo award-winning science fantasy novel by Roger Zelazny. After humans have moved to a new planet, technological disparities allow a privileged few to assume the names and likenesses of deities, and rule over the common people. Tired of the system, a former “god” wages war against the unjust regime. Set to produce are Gale Anne Hurd (the “Terminator” trilogy) and Valhalla Entertainment; Barry Ira Gellar, Rich Angell and Mark B. Newbauer of Mike and Pike Productions. Ashley Miller (“X-Men”) will executive produce and is also set to write the adaptation.
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