While on a working vacation to Los Angeles the week before last, Song of Ice and Fire creator George R.R. Martin took some “very exciting” meetings with HBO, among others. Martin can’t divulge information about those meetings yet (“There’s a lot of cool things in the works,” he teases), but is happy to discuss another project on his Not a Blog: SyFy’s adaptation of his Nightflyers.
Nightflyers is a science fiction-horror novella first published in 1980. About a crew of space-farers victimized by a sinister AI aboard their ship, it was turned into a “low budget” movie in 1987, the trailer for which is never not fun to watch:
The guys in charge of adapting Nightflyers for TV are writer/creator Jeff Buhler and showrunner Daniel Cerone. Martin met with them in LA. “This was the first time I’d met (or spoken with) either Jeff or Daniel, but we had a great meeting, and I was impressed by their enthusiasm and their plans for the series.” Martin said that he was initially being “baffled” that Nightflyers was being turned into a TV show — it’s a novella, after all — but is now on board.
While it departs considerably from my novella in certain details, the essence of the story remains the same — and I thought the teleplay was quite strong on its own terms, and a good launching point for a series.
Nightflyers has “been picked up for a full ten-episode season order, with a substantial budget” and will shoot in Limerick, Northern Ireland. Martin hopes that will give the producers “access to the same great pool of Irish and British actors that GAME OF THRONES has tapped in Belfast (and considering how many characters we’ve killed, a lot of them should be available).”
And if you want to reach between the lines and look for hidden clues as to the status of Martin’s next Song of Ice and Fire novel, The Winds of Winter, squint hard at this bit:
If by some miracles I actually complete enough of my other projects to create some free time, I’ve love to go over there and kill two birds with one flight by visiting both the GOT and NIGHTFLYERS sets… but that remains a long shot, given my current word load.
Apparently Martin is tied up for the foreseeable future. Make of that what you will.
Nightflyers is expected to debut next summer on the SyFy network here in the United States, and on Netflix internationally.