EXCLUSIVE: After QC Entertainment won an auction for TV the Chuck Wendig dystopian sci-fi novel Wanderers back in early 2019, the effort to turn it into an event series has grown stronger. Lionsgate has expanded its partnership with QC Entertainment and come aboard to develop the series. They’ve set Glen Mazzara (The Walking Dead) to be showrunner. He will be executive producer with Ilene Staple and QC Entertainment’s Sean McKittrick, Raymond Mansfield and Edward H. Hamm, Jr.
Wanderers is the apocalyptic tale of a decadent rock star, a deeply religious radio host, a disgraced scientist, and a teenage girl named Shana who embark on a mysterious journey across America to protect their friends and family. It begins when Shana wakes up one morning to discover her little sister, Nessie, in the grip of a strange malady – she appears to be sleepwalking, she can’t talk or be awakened. With inexorable determination, Shana and her sister head to a destination only Nessie knows…but they’re not alone. Shana is joined by other “shepherds” like herself and a flock of sleepwalkers who soon discover an America convulsed with terror where the apocalyptic epidemic proves less dangerous than the fear of it.
The first installment was published last summer by Penguin Random House’s Del Rey Books imprint to great acclaim. Lionsgate Head of Scripted Development Scott Herbst is steering development of the pilot. QC Entertainment, which produced the Oscar-nominated Get Out and BlackKklansman, most recently teamed with Lionsgate on the thriller film Antebellum.
The sequel to the novel will be published in 2022. Set in the aftermath of Wanderers, the survivors must contend with a rising authoritarian force. Now, in an America broken by disease and political extremists, they must fight their way to a more hopeful future.
Said Mazzara, whose work includes The Walking Dead, The Shield and Damien: “Chuck Wendig certainly has his finger on America’s pulse. Wanderers has been incredibly prescient about so many things, it’s frightening. I look forward to working with Lionsgate, QC and Ilene in bringing this madman’s story to the screen.”
Said Wendig: “The reception to Wanderers has been incredible, and I’m humbled by the enthusiasm of expanding the timely themes of dystopia and hope beyond the pages of the book and into a television series with content leaders Lionsgate and QC Entertainment. Ilene, Ray, Sean and Edward have been great collaborators and I look forward to Glen’s creative vision as I ready the launch of the sequel with our Random House partner.”
Wendig is repped by ICM Partners’ Josie Freedman and Stacia Decker at Dunow, Carlson & Lerner; Mazzara is repped by attorney Philip Klein; QC Entertainment is represented by Chris Abramson at Felker Toczek.
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