Syfy adapts Dan Simmons Hyperion!
The Syfy Channel continues its efforts to re-invent itself. In two days viewers can watch a new SF series: Dark Matter and a week later Killjoys. In the meantime, more fantastic news is out. Syfy adapts Dan Simmons Hyperion as a TV event! According to Blastr.com ‘Syfy channel will team up with producer/actor Bradley Cooper (American Sniper), Oscar-winning producer Graham King (Argo) and director/producer Todd Phillips (The Hangover) to bring the massive novel — the first in a tetralogy — to the screen’. There certainly seems to be more than enough talent attached to the project. Also onboard is Itamar Moses, who has worked as a screenwriter for Boardwalk Empire.
The easily excitable Bradley Cooper had this to say about the adaptation. “It is an absolute honor to enter into the world created by Dan Simmons that is arguably one of the greatest works of science fiction, and help realize it for television audiences.”
Syfy president Dave Howe added: ‘”As Syfy continues to forge important partnerships with award-winning talent on and off screen, this powerhouse team led by Bradley Cooper, Graham King and Todd Phillips brings an extraordinary track record in producing entertainment of the highest creative ambition. Epitomizing the gold standard of science fiction story-telling, Hyperion tackles smart and provocative themes that help define Syfy’s development vision.”
Fans of many other space opera and hard-SF novels may suddenly become excited at the prospect of others also being adapted. However, Hyperion is a large project. Its many faceted story, its deeper meanings are perhaps not easily adapted. As I recall Hyperion was also quite bloody.
I am not certain what a TV event show exactly is. I am thinking it is a miniseries similar to Ascension. Hyperion follows an earlier announcement that Arthur C. Clarke’s Childhood’s End would also be adapted as well as James S. A. Corey’s The Expanse and Lev Grossman’s The Magicians. For a TV channel famous for cancelling fan favorite shows and slashing budgets this is a remarkable turn around. Soon there may a shortage of wrestling and ghost hunting trash, ehmm… shows on Syfy channel. Whatever would be do?
For those eager to read some science fiction over the summer months I can recommend Hyperion. It has not lost one iota of relevance since its release in 1989. Author Dan Simmons has cleverly crafted the story according to The Canterbury Tales while episodes of the life of 19th century poet John Keats are reenacted with wonderful result. Make sure that you get both Hyperion and The Fall of Hyperion because you need to read them together. Hyperion is not an easy book, it requires dedication and strength to read. Parts of it reminded me of Peter F. Hamilton’s Reality Dysfunction and even Revelation Space by Alastair Reynolds. If you do manage to finish it, then you can only agree with me that this books deserves an adaptation. It only requires a director with enough creativity and experience and a TV channel with enough money to do the work justice.
So, this was Syfy adapts Dan Simmons Hyperion! Tell me below what you think of this adaptation effort. Is Syfy up to it, or will it end up being a show that looks like Hyperion, sounds like Hyperion, has a few characters with the right names but is otherwise nothing like Hyperion.