Syfy, in its continuing crusade to rebrand itself, has ordered a pilot based on George R. R. Martin’s “Nightflyers.” This news follows recent announcements regarding the channel adapting the graphic novel “Happy!”, which will star Christopher Meloni and Bobby Moynihan, as well as a full series pick-up for Superman prequel “Krypton.”
“Nightflyers” is the titular novella in a 1980 short story collection by the A Game of Thrones author. The story follows the tight-knit crew of the Nightflyer embarking on an expedition to the edge of our solar system as the destruction becomes increasingly imminent. Their hope is to make contact with alien life, but between the telepath on board, the mysterious captain, and the unexpected violence that begins to take place, the crew members begin to become suspicious of each other. The journey suddenly becomes more difficult than anticipated, and the story holds true to Martin’s Faulkner-esque philosophy that “the only thing worth writing about is the heart in conflict with itself.”
Jeff Buhler, who wrote the screenplay for Jacob’s Ladder, has written the novella’s adaptation for television. Bill McGoldrick, NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment’s executive Vice President of script development, said of the series: “We are looking forward to diving deeper into George R.R. Martin’s chilling world of Nightflyers… The script that Jeff delivered encapsulates this classic sci-fi horror story and adapts it to a platform where we can truly explore the depths of madness.”
Martin will not be working on Nightflyers himself. He is under an exclusive contract with HBO at the moment, though the majority of his focus appears to be on the completion of The Winds of Winter, the sixth novel in his A Song of Ice and Fire series. That being said, he does appear to be developing another of his literary properties, the Wild Cards series, and is assisting in the development of several Game of Thrones spinoffs.
Hopefully the series will prove more successful than the 1987 film adaptation, which has faded almost entirely from popular consciousness.