Steven Spielberg and Syfy are teaming up once again, this time on a new adaptation of Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. Amblin Television will produce the series for the network, along with Universal Cable Productions.
Based on the 1932 novel, the new series will be written by Les Bohem, who wrote Taken, the other project Amblin produced for what was then the Sci Fi Channel. Taken won the 2003 Emmy for best miniseries and received another six nominations.
“Brave New World is one of the most influential genre classics of all time,” said Syfy president Dave Howe. “Its provocative vision of a future gone awry remains as powerful and as timeless as ever. Promising to be a monumental television event, Brave New World is precisely the groundbreaking programming that is becoming the hallmark of Syfy.”
NBC has already produced two television movies, one in 1980 and the other in 1998. The latter of the two starred Peter Gallagher and Leonard Nimoy.
Brave New World ranks fifth among the Modern Library’s 100 best English-language novels of the 20th Century. Set in London of AD 2540, the novel delivers a world without poverty, war, or disease. It’s the story of a new social order where humans are given mind-altering drugs, free sex, and all the commercial consumer habits you could want. People are now genetically engineered, and non-conformists are forced to live on “reservations”. The whole system becomes threatened when one of the “savages” makes a stand.
The novel was originally intended by Huxley to be a parody of the utopian stories written by H.G. Wells. Many have done the “compare and contrast” with George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four. In the foreward to his book Amusing Ourselves to Death, social critic Neil Postman points out how Huxley’s future gives us a humanity full of passivity and egotism, preoccupied with “some equivalent of the feelies” and having an appetite for distractions.
Brave New World is the latest high profile scripted project to be developed and produced by Syfy; others include the recently-announced series pickup of The Magicians, based on Lev Grossman’s best-selling books; the 10-part series The Expanse, airing December 2015 and starring Thomas Jane; Arthur C. Clarke’s epic mini-series Childhood’s End, also set to premiere this December; Gale Anne Hurd’s 13-episode thriller Hunters; David Goyer’s Superman prequel, Krypton; and Incorporated, a pilot from Matt Damon and Ben Affleck.