Eric Heisserer, the screenwriter for the 2016 masterpiece Arrival, will be developing a science-fiction series for AMC. Arrival, which was directed by Denis Villeneuve, was an adaptation of a 1998 short story by Ted Chiang entitled Story of Your Life, and apparently Heisserer will be continuing this trend of adapting Chiang for the aforementioned series. The source material in this case is another short story, Liking What You See: A Documentary, and will deal with a very different range of subjects.
In an interview with Vulture, Heisserer said “The story is set in the near future and it’s in a time when beauty and over-sexualization of beauty has gotten out of hand in advertising and has sorta become toxic to our environment and to our relationships. And along comes a neuroscientist who discovers what’s called calliagnosia, which is a kind of non-invasive procedure that just aggravates the right part of the brain to knock out our aesthetic center so that when we see someone’s face, we can recognize elements of their face and traits of that, but we’re no longer either attracted or unattracted to that person. It’s like wolfsbane for beauty.”
With such a development, people with any type of cosmetic deformity or unconventional appearance are able to lead lives unaffected by the type of judgment they would otherwise experience. But at the same time, in a society which has spent so long mired in its emphasis on the way people look, not everyone is please with this. Heisserer told Vulture: “Of course, the giant beauty industry says, ‘This is a terrible idea. We can’t let this succeed.’ So there’s a war that goes on. A culture war.”
Heisserer is, at present, the only name publicly associated with the project, and he admitted that he doesn’t know how long it might be before the series makes it to the screen. But the prospect is certainly exciting, considering the the immense critical and/or commercial successes of other AMC series, like Mad Men, Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead, and Halt and Catch Fire.
What do you think? Are you excited to see more of Chiang’s work adapted for the screen?