Game Of Thrones fan? Check out 2018’s upcoming Sci-Fi and Fantasy TV shows
IF you’re yearning for a return to Westeros, you’ll have to wait till 2019. However, since the golden age of speculative fiction is upon us, you’ll have plenty of fantastical shows to binge watch really soon. Nearly every TV network has seized the rights to a bevvy of award-winning sci-fi/fantasy books in the hopes of developing the next Game Of Thrones (GoT). To keep milking this cash cow, HBO is even planning five different GoT spin-offs! It’s a win-win situation for everyone. Here are the immensely popular properties converted into shows for long-form television which are premiering in the coming months.
Cyberpunk comes to television via Richard K Morgan’s classic 2002 novel. This Netflix show, set to air on February 2, occurs in the 25th century where the human consciousness can be stored, downloaded, and reuploaded into ‘sleeves’ or new bodies. The storyline is primarily focussed on a trained soldier Takeshi Kovacs who is investigating an influential aristocrat’s murder.
In 2017, Stephen King’s long list of adapted works included The Dark Tower, It, Gerald’s Game, 1922, Mr Mercedes, and The Mist. This year, he kicks things off by teaming up with JJ Abrams (Lost/Person of Interest) and Hulu to create an interconnected dark fantasy-horror anthology steeped in his multiverse. King fans will recognise Castle Rock as a fictional American town which appears in many of his older titles like Cujo, The Dark Half, and Needful Things.
Often touted as the funniest novel about the end of the world, this celebrated book by acclaimed authors Neil Gaiman and the late Terry Pratchett is now a BBC mini-series. Featuring six hour-long episodes reported to air in early 2018—starring Jon Hamm, David Tennant, and Michael Sheen—the plot is set in a world populated by angels, demons, and an 11-year-old Antichrist.
The City & The City
With a star-studded cast including David Morrisey (The Walking Dead), and Maria Schrader (Deutschland 83), Mammoth Pictures is reworking China Miéville’s page-turner. Currently pencilled in for early 2018, the 60-minute-long episodes of this crime procedural will reveal a riveting high fantasy tale set in a decaying city.
Since their last Philip K Dick adaptation got them an Emmy, Amazon has decided to turn to the prized sci-fi novelist yet again. Their Prime Video platform will premiere a sci-fi anthology series titled Philip K Dick’s Electric Dreams on January 12. The production will showcase 10 standalone episodes, all of which are based on the author’s poignant and warm explorations of the future of humanity.
Big screen return
The early 2000s saw adapted hits like the Lord Of The Rings trilogy make their mark. However, since then, the speculative fiction books-to-film trend has been marred by a huge lineup of box-office duds (think World of Warcraft). But, 2018 has quite a few adaptations lined up that may aid the genre in regaining its prominence on the big screen.
Ready Player One: Steven Spielberg’s film will be based on Ernest Cline’s award-winning book on virtual life in 2045.
Mortal Engines: Author Philip Reeve’s dystopic bestseller about gigantic moving cities has been given the Peter Jackson treatment.
The Three-Body Problem: Liu Cixin’s celebrated trilogy regarding China making ‘first contact’ will release as a six-part franchise.
Annihilation: Set in Area X—an uninhabited land where unexplainable things happen—this film is
based on Jeff VanderMeer’s trilogy.
Nowadays, production houses pay close attention to pop-culture forums, proof of which can be seen in the ever-expanding list of in-demand sci-fi/fantasy shows currently listed as ‘in development’. The hype on social media surrounding these upcoming shows is hard to miss.
Wheel Of Time: One of the most popular epic fantasy series of all time has been given the green light by Sony Pictures Television.
Nightflyers: Yet another George R R Martin title—this one set in a mysterious spaceship—is in the works for a 10-episode show on SyFy. Slated for a late 2018 release.
The Fionavar Tapestry: Bestselling author Guy Gavriel Kay’s trilogy is being produced by Boat Rocker Studios, the folks behind hit shows like Orphan Black.
Netflix is developing Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski’s books on monster hunters. The saga, which is also a video game, went on to win over 240 ‘Game Of The Year’ awards.