EXCLUSIVE: British sci-fi horror film Monsters is being turned into a television series by Vertigo Films for UK broadcaster Channel 4. The feature was the directorial debut of Star Wars spin-off Rogue One and Godzilla helmer Gareth Edwards.
I understand that Top Boy creator Ronan Bennett will act as showrunner with up-and-coming British writers Daniel Fajemisin-Duncan and Marlon Smith writing. It is currently in development with Channel 4 in the UK, via head of international drama Simon Maxwell, and the producers are looking to secure a major U.S. partner and is in talks with broadcasters and SVOD services including Netflix and Amazon. C4 hopes that the big-budget drama will follow a similar path as its Philip K. Dick adaptation Electric Dreams, which is set to launch on Amazon, and Kudos sci-fi thriller Humans, which is a co-pro with AMC.
The film, which was released in 2010 via Vertigo and Magnet Releasing in the U.S., follows an American photojournalist, played by Scoot McNairy, who is tasked with escorting his employer’s daughter, played by Whitney Able, back to the U.S. by crossing an infected zone full of creatures in Mexico.
Edwards is likely to be involved behind the scenes with his full involvement determined when the project has been fully greenlit. It is the latest television series for Vertigo Films, which has refocused on the small screen, following a number of big TV commissions including Sky and Amazon epic period drama Britannia, written by Jez Butterworth, and Noel Clarke and Ashley Walters-fronted buddy cop drama Bulletproof for Sky.
It is also the latest high-profile project for Duncan and Smith, who have scored a number of big films and TV series since they kicked off their career by writing Run, a gritty mini-series for Channel 4 that starred The Night Manager’s Olivia Colman, Line of Duty’s Lennie James and Ray Winstone’s daughter Jaime Winstone, who has starred in films including Adulthood and Donkey Punch. The pair recently sold Red Star, an original sci-fi pitch to Justice League studio Warner Bros. That followed the sale of Shadow Warrior, a true story about an African slave who escapes a trading vessel off the coast of Japan in the 16th Century to become a samurai, to Paramount Pictures.
Fajemisin-Duncan and Smith, who are represented by CAA, Grandview and Sayle Screen, are also currently writing The Man Who Fell To Earth, an international plane-jumping drama set in the UK, Japan, Mozambique and Switzerland, for The Crown producer Left Bank Pictures.