EXCLUSIVE: Radar Pictures, which served as an executive producer on Sony’s Jumanji films, has secured rights to “Karn Evil 9,” the futuristic 1973 song by London prog-rock band Emerson, Lake & Palmer, to develop as a sci-fi feature. New York Times bestselling author Daniel H. Wilson has been hired to adapt the screenplay, which is inspired by the title and lyrics created and recorded by band members Keith Emerson, Greg Lake and Carl Palmer.
Centered on a society that has drained all its blood with a dependence on technology, the film will explore the world controlled by a pervasive and dictatorial technocracy. The annual “Karn Evil” — a macabre rite of passage — is a young person’s once-in-a-lifetime chance to experience unbridled freedom, before subjugating themselves to the ruling class. When people stop returning from their Karn Evil experience, fear drives a revolution to topple the status quo and the artificial intelligence discovered at its heart.
Michael Napoliello and Maria Frisk will produce for Radar with full cooperation from ELP and its management. Ted Field, who has produced more than 60 films including the Jumanji franchise, the Riddick franchise, Spring Breakers, The Last Samurai, and Runaway Bride, will serve as exec producer on behalf of Radar.
“The visionary world that ELP created with their recording “Karn Evil 9″ is much closer to reality today,” said Field. “Our team at Radar looks forward to bringing this vision of where things may be headed to the big screen and beyond.”
Wilson, the author behind bestselling sci-fi novels Robopocalypse and The Andromeda Evolution, has adapted several of his works for the screen, most recently penning the script to Robopocalypse for DreamWorks and Michael Bay.
“I’m incredibly excited to partner with Ted and Radar to explore Karn Evil 9—a unique and thrilling world,” said Wilson. “I couldn’t ask for better collaborators and I can’t wait to help add the Karn Evil 9 franchise to the Radar family.”
Radar’s upcoming projects include the television adaptation of Robert Jordan’s epic fantasy series The Wheel of Time with Amazon Studios and Sony Pictures Television.