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Neal Stephenson‘s sci-fi classic Snow Crash is getting the TV treatment for HBO Max. Writer Michael Bacall 21 Jump Street and director Joe Cornish Attack the Block are tackling the adaptation. Stephenson’s novel covers a wide range of topics, including “history, linguistics, anthropology, archaeology, religion, computer science, politics, cryptography, memetics, and philosophy.”
Deadline has the scoop on the Snow Crash TV series, stating that Michael Bacall will write the adaptation and serve as co-showrunner with Angela Robinson, while Joe Cornish directs. Frank Marshall will serve as producer. Here’s the book’s synopsis:
Only once in a great while does a writer come along who defies comparison—a writer so original he redefines the way we look at the world. Neal Stephenson is such a writer and Snow Crash is such a novel, weaving virtual reality, Sumerian myth, and just about everything in between with a cool, hip cybersensibility to bring us the gigathriller of the information age. In reality, Hiro Protagonist delivers pizza for Uncle Enzo’s CosoNostra Pizza Inc., but in the Metaverse he’s a warrior prince. Plunging headlong into the enigma of a new computer virus that’s striking down hackers everywhere, he races along the neon-lit streets on a search-and-destroy mission for the shadowy virtual villain threatening to bring about infocalypse.
I haven’t read Snow Crash, but this sounds similar to Ready Player One, which doesn’t get me very excited. However, Snow Crash pre-dates Ready Player One by years and is considered one of the most important science fiction novels of the past few decades. So of course lesser work has ripped it off. Also,, Joe Cornish should have a much bigger career by now, so I’m always happy to see him with a new project.
A potential Snow Crash adaptation has been a dream for many for years, but the novel’s sprawling nature has complicated things. Cornish actually wrote a script for a feature film adaptation, and Stephenson loved it, calling Cornish’s take on the material “amazing.” But it looks like everyone involved have now decided to use TV to bring Snow Crash to life rather than try to cram everything into a feature film. Last year, it was announced that a TV adaptation was headed to Amazon, but that’s no longer the case, and the series is destined for HBO Max.
Joby Harold, whose writing credits include Awake, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, and Zack Snyder’s upcoming Army of the Dead, has been hired as the new writer of the untitled Obi-Wan Kenobi series on Disney+. Get the details below.
Variety has the news, reporting that Harold is taking over as the show’s writer after the show was shut down earlier this year. Drive screenwriter Hossein Amini turned in scripts, sets were built, staff were hired, and star Ewan McGregor was back on board…but Lucasfilm decided to pull the plug and start from scratch, throwing out Amini’s scripts and beginning the search for a new writer to come in and take over. That search, which at one time reportedly included The Mandalorian veterans Dave Filoni and Christopher Yost as options, is now over, as the studio has hired Joby Harold to get things back on track.
Harold is an unexpected choice for this job, since he’s arguably better known as a producer than a writer at this point. He’s produced or executive produced Edge of Tomorrow, Robin Hood, John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum, and the WGN America series Underground. On the writing side, he wrote and directed his first feature film, Awake, back in 2007, and a decade passed before his script for King Arthur: The Legend of the Sword was eventually produced. That film was supposed to launch a six-movie franchise, but didn’t perform well enough to even get a single sequel, let alone five. Army of the Dead is in post-production and he’s on board to write another Transformers project, but those are the only four writing credits listed.
More to come…
EXCLUSIVE: Spectrum Originals is developing Tinseltown, a period drama series based on William J Mann's 2014 bestselling book Tinseltown: Murder, Morphine, And Madness At The Dawn of Hollywood. The project hails from Mann, The Son executive producer Kevin Murphy, Aaron Kaplan’s Kapital Entertainment, Tracy Katsky’s KatCo and Paramount Television Studios.
Co-written by Murphy and Mann, Tinseltown is set against the seamy, glamorous backdrop of silent film era. It explores the lives of four pioneer women filmmakers whose lives and livelihoods were threatened by a scandalous murder and the brutal patriarchy of Hollywood's nascent studio system.
What the description refers to is the famously unsolved murder of William Desmond Taylor, the popular president of the Motion Picture Directors Association.
“The show centers on four accomplished women filmmakers who get dragged into the grotesque media circus surrounding a murder,” Murphy said. “Their careers are upended and they find themselves pushed out of the burgeoning Hollywood studio system, a system Paramount founder Adolph Zukor has been building by strong-arming independent producers and exhibitors ravaged by the Spanish Flu shutdown.”
If the project goes to series, it will launch on the heels of a global pandemic, the current coronavirus crisis. That would mirror the setting of Tinseltown, which takes place in the early 1920s, immediately after the Spanish Flu pandemic.
There are also other aspects that make Tinseltown timely. Some refer to the events in the book - and its adaptation - as the origin story of the #MeToo movement.
“I believe this is a story about women in Hollywood and the resiliency of women in Hollywood,” Mann said. “We wonder how we got to where we are today, well, this is the origin story of so much.”
Kapital and KatCo acquired the rights to Mann’s book in 2014 in a competitive situation. Kaplan and Murphy had been talking about doing a project together for 7-8 years but Murphy never sparked to an idea until Kaplan sent him a copy of Mann’s Tinseltown. Murphy was coming off AMC’s The Son, starring Pierce Brosnan, which also included historical elements, and immediately jumped on it.
Murphy and Mann executive produce alongside Kapital’s Kaplan and Dana Honor and KatCo’s Katsky.
Mann, repped by APA, is a well known Hollywood chronicler who has previously written Kate: The Woman Who Was Hepburn; How to Be A Movie Star: Elizabeth Taylor In Hollywood; Hello, Gorgeous: Becoming Barbra Streisand; and Wisecracker: The Life And Times Of William Haines.
Desperate Housewives and Caprica alum Murphy created/executive produced the series Valentine and Hellcats...
It’s almost time for Adventure Time to return to our screens. The acclaimed Cartoon Network show is making a short comeback on HBO Max in the form of four animated specials that catch up with our favorite residents of the Land of Ooo. As we near the May launch of HBO Max, the streamer has released the first Adventure Time: Distant Lands teaser, along with synopses of the four exciting new specials.Adventure Time Distant Lands Teaser
Come on, grab your friends. The adventure continues with Adventure Time: Distant Lands, a series of four animated specials that will each focus on a different character from the disarmingly good Cartoon Network series created by Pendleton Ward. The teaser for Adventure Time: Distant Lands doesn’t show us much from the upcoming specials apart from some flashes of our favorite characters including Finn, Jake, Marceline, Princess Bubblegum, BMO and Peppermint Butler, but it’s enough.
It feels like it’s been years since we’ve seen these characters, who all went through drastic journeys during the whimsical, surprisingly sad, original series. But the synopses for the specials hint at an exciting reunion for Finn the human and his best friend Jake the dog, after the ambiguous, bittersweet ending of the original series. The other specials focus on BMO, Marceline and Princess Bubblegum, and Peppermint Butler.
Here are the official synopses for the four specials:
Episode 1 titled “BMO” – “When there’s a deadly space emergency in the farthest reaches of the galaxy, there’s only one hero to call, and it’s probably not BMO. Except that this time it is!”
Episode 2 titled “Obsidian” – “Marceline and Princess Bubblegum journey to the imposing, beautiful Glass Kingdom — and deep into their tumultuous past — to prevent an earthshaking catastrophe.”
Episode 3 titled “Wizard City” – “Peppermint Butler starts over at the beginning, as just another inexperienced Wizard School student. When mysterious events at the campus cast suspicion on Pep, and his checkered past, can he master the mystic arts in time to prove his innocence?”
Episode 4 titled “Together Again” – “Finn and Jake [reunite] to rediscover their brotherly bond and embark on the most important adventure of their lives.”
Adventure Time: Distant Lands debuts on HBO Max soon.