EXCLUSIVE: Douglas Adams’ comedy sci-fi classic The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is headed to American television. I have learned that Hulu is developing a TV series adaptation of the novels from prolific showrunner Carlton Cuse (Lost, Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, Locke & Key) and feature writer Jason Fuchs (Wonder Woman, Ice Age: Continental Drift). The project hails from ABC Signature, the cable/streaming division of ABC Studios where Cuse and his Genre Arts production company are under an overall deal.
A British popular culture staple, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy originated as a comedy radio series and became a hugely successful series of novels that has been translated into more than 30 languages and has become essential reading for high school students around the world.
The series follows the intergalactic adventures of Arthur Dent, a hapless Englishman, following the destruction of Earth by the Vogons, a race of unpleasant and bureaucratic aliens.
Cuse and Fuchs, both fans of the iconic title, will write, executive produce and showrun the proposed series, a modern updating of the classic story which is now in development at Hulu via ABC Signature and Cuse’ Genre Arts. Fuchs is writing the pilot script.
Disney owns the Hitchhiker’s Guide IP; the studio produced the 2005 star-studded feature adaptation, in which Arthur was played by Martin Freeman. The cast also included Sam Rockwell, Mos Def, Zooey Deschanel, Bill Nighy, John Malkovich, Stephen Fry and Alan Rickman.
In the UK, Arthur was played by Simon Jones on the original radio series and the subsequent TV series adaptation.
Lindsey Springer, President of Genre Arts, is executive producing the TV series project alongside Cuse and Fuchs.
Another Adams TV series adaptation, Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, recently aired on BBC America for two seasons.
Cuse is executive producing the upcoming Netflix series Locke & Key. Under his big overall deal at ABC Studios, he has two high-profile projects at the upcoming direct-to-consumer platform Disney+. One of the top TV showrunners of the past two decades, Cuse co-ran ABC’s Lost. His recent showrunner/co-showrunner credits also include Amazon’s Jack Ryan as well as Bates Motel, The Strain, Colony and The Returned. He is managed by Syndicate Entertainment.
The writing credits for Fuchs, who also is an actor, include co-penning Wonder Woman and Ice: Age: Continental Drift and writing Pan and I Still See You. In television, he wrote and executive produced the ABC pilot Big Thunder, based on the Disneyland ride. He is managed by Brookside Artist Management.