Another Show After Game of Thrones that is “Wild Cards” And It’s Soon Coming to TV
George Raymond Richard Martin, often referred to as GRRM, is an American novelist and short-story writer in the fantasy, horror, and science fiction genres, a screenwriter, and television producer.
Game of Thrones author George RR Martin might soon launch another sprawling fantasy world on television. Universal Cable Productions has acquired the rights to develop Mr Martin’s anthology series Wild Cards after the author announced the deal on his blog. Given the fact that Game of Thrones and comic book movies are the feet of the geek colossus that now bestrides mainstream popular culture, combining author George RR Martin with a new TV series about superheroes seems like a licence to print money. Wild Cards both fed into this and veered away from it, joyfully mining the tropes of classic comic books and pulp fiction but attempting to inject them with a dose of logic and realism. But aside from the subject matter, the Wild Cards series was also innovative in its construction. Martin and his co-editor Melinda Snodgrass used a variety of big-name science fiction and fantasy authors to compile a shared universe that wasn’t quite a short story anthology and not quite a collaborative piece but something in between – what they called a “mosaic novel”, with different stories featuring different characters written by different writers, but interlocking into a wider narrative.
The high concept of the Wild Cards series was that at the height of the second world war an alien virus was unleashed on the world – initially over New York – which changed the course of history. Ninety percent of those exposed to the virus died instantly, but of those 10 in 100 who survived, nine were horribly disfigured – they drew the “joker”, in the parlance of the series – while just 1% were dealt an “ace” and gifted with comic-book-style superpowers.
Though it sounds like the “add X to Y” brainwave of a TV execs meeting, the forthcoming Wild Cards series has in fact been three decades in the making.
Martin announced on his blog at the weekend that Universal Cable Productions has acquired the rights to the Wild Cards series of books, which he describes as “a universe, as large and diverse and exciting as the comic book universes of Marvel and DC (though somewhat grittier, and considerably more realistic and more consistent), with an enormous cast of characters”.
Due to Mr Martin’s exclusive development agreement with HBO, the author will not be working on the project.
According to Mr Martin, “The shared world of the Wild Cards diverged from our own on September 15, 1946, when an alien virus was released in the skies over Manhattan, and spread across an unsuspecting Earth. Of those infected, 90 per cent died horribly, drawing the black queen, 9 per cent were twisted and deformed into jokers, while a lucky 1 per cent became blessed with extraordinary and unpredictable powers and became aces.” He describes the project as “a series of interlocking books, graphic novels, games. But most of all it is a universe, as large and diverse and exciting as the comic book universes of Marvel and DC (though somewhat grittier, and considerably more realistic and more consistent), with an enormous cast of characters both major and minor”.
The first volume in the series was published in 1986, with 22 volumes released to date.v Mr Martin expressed hope that the series would make it to screens “in the next year or two”. His Game of Thrones received 23 Emmy nominations for its sixth season this year. The premiere of the seventh season is slated for summer 2017 internationally.
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