EXCLUSIVE: The Illuminatus! Trilogy is coming to television and Hivemind is in on the conspiracy. Hivemind, the production company behind The Expanse and Witcher, is partnering with writer-director Brian Taylor (Crank, Happy!) and the European production company Kallisti to adapt The Illuminatus! Trilogy, the off-kilter bookshelf series by authors Robert Anton Wilson & Robert Shea.
Originally published in the 1970s, The Illuminatus! Trilogy defies simple descriptions but the surreal and satirical milestone introduced “the Illuminati” lore to a global audience and sparked much of the contemporary American fascination with conspiracy theories and their modern rhythms.
The Illuminatus! Trilogy is as subversive as it is influential — and its been cited as an influence by the like of V for Vendetta co-creator Alan Moore, Watchmen showrunner Damon Lindelof, comedy icon George Carlin, horror master John Carpenter, and sci-fi visionary Philip K. Dick.
The Illuminatus! Trilogy will be executive produced by Dinesh Shamdasani & Hunter Gorinson for Hivemind, and Iris McPherson & Kirstin Winkler for Kallisti. The executive producer and showrunner will be Taylor, who is best known for co-creating, co-writing, and co-directing the Crank franchise (starring Jason Statham) with collaborator Mark Neveldine.
Taylor’s most recent television project was the just-concluded Happy! for Syfy and based on the Image Comics series. Now filming in London: Brave New World, a reimagining of the bookshelf classic by Taylor and Happy! co-creator Grant Morrison for USA Network.
“lluminatus is a kind of mind-blowing literary miracle…it manages to be completely seminal while as relevant today – if not more so – than the day it was published,” Taylor said. “Wilson and Shea have created a fractal-like world of conspiracy inside conspiracy that completely anticipates today’s internet-fueled, post-truth culture.”
The synopsis from The Illuminatus! Trilogy producers: “When the offices of a Manhattan news publisher are bombed, anti-authority reporter George Dorn begins to suspect that the disturbing conspiracy his editor has spent months investigating is not only real, it might be the key to unlocking all of history’s greatest unanswered mysteries. As George sets out to find his mentor and uncover the truth about an all-seeing secret society that seems to unify every insane, inane, and outlandish conspiracy theory ever told – from the JFK assassination, celebrity cabals and lost continents to UFOs, ancient gods and the truth about the New World Order – he finds himself drawn deeper into a war between two shadowy groups. On one side stand the Discordians, a clandestine band of chaos-loving guerrilla fighters led by the enigmatic modern-day pirate Hagbard Celine; and on the other, the Illuminati – elite authoritarians who secretly manipulate world events, ever expanding their wealth, influence, and physical power in a plot to escape the limitations of human existence.”
Gorinson, Hivemind’s VP of Brand & Content Strategy, said the influence of the source material has echoed in fascinating ways across pop culture and the popular imagination: “The series’ staggering influence has only continued to grow with each passing year not just because it explores and indulges the most compelling depths of America’s conspiratorial imagination, but because it also gives us the tools and knowledge to understand it. If there was ever a series primed for 21st century television, it’s Illuminatus,”
Hivemind has a busy winter ahead with The Expanse relocating to the universe of Amazon (Season 4 premieres there this Friday) and The Witcher set to premiere on Netflix on December 20 with Henry Cavill in the title role. The company also has a February release date with Sony for Bloodshot, the Vin Diesel-starring adaptation of the cyborg assassin saga..
Hivemind has a first-look for event television at Amazon and is repped by UTA. Taylor is repped by Verve.