George R.R. Martin’s ‘Wild Cards’ in Development at Universal Cable Productions

George RR Martin
Tolga Akmen/REX/Shutterstock

“Game of Thrones” author George R.R. Martin could soon have another sprawling fantasy world on television. Variety has confirmed that Universal Cable Productions has acquired the rights to develop Martin’s anthology series “Wild Cards,” after the author announced the deal on his personal blog. Due to Martin’s exclusive development agreement with HBO, the author will not be working on the project, with Martin’s assistant editor Melinda Snodgrass (whose television credits include “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” “The Outer Limits,” and “Reasonable Doubts”) and Gregory Noveck executive producing instead.

According to Martin, “the shared world of the Wild Cards diverged from our own on September 15, 1946 when an alien virus was released in the skies over Manhattan, and spread across an unsuspecting Earth. Of those infected, 90% died horribly, drawing the black queen, 9% were twisted and deformed into jokers, while a lucky 1% became blessed with extraordinary and unpredictable powers and became aces. The world was never the same.”

Martin describes the project as “a series of interlocking books, graphic novels, games… but most of all it is a universe, as large and diverse and exciting as the comic book universes of Marvel and DC (though somewhat grittier, and considerably more realistic and more consistent), with an enormous cast of characters both major and minor.”

The first volume in the series was published in 1986, with 22 volumes released to date. Numerous authors have contributed to the series over the years, with dozens of characters and hundreds of storylines available for adaptation. Martin expressed hope that the series would make it to screens “in the next year or two.”

Universal Cable Productions is behind USA’s “Mr. Robot,” “Colony” and “Suits,” Syfy’s “12 Monkeys,” “The Magicians” and “Killjoys,” E!’s “The Royals,” Bravo’s “Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce” and Hulu’s “Difficult People,” among others.

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  1. Wlee says:

    “The Witness” a Sci-fi show somewhat like Quantum Leap but in this case a man “maybe a prisoner in the future” is sent back to document events in the past like historical tragedies but unlike Quantum Leap he is not sent back to help only to record and document these tragedies for future historians. Sometimes he is sent back weeks before the event to get the full details as too what lead up to the tragedy. He still cannot let anyone know who he is or be captured as this will alter the timeline so needless to say there is a huge risk of being killed “probably why they have a prisoner do it”. Slowly though seeing people before they die or something else bad happening to them he slowly starts to change from a cold blooded criminal to a human being and starts to intervene. This cause friction in the organization that sent him back from the future and they let him know if he continues this action he will be eliminated and the people he helped will be eliminated anyway “to keep the timeline in place”. Because of a tech. implant and his body chemistry only a few people are able to do this transportation through time so they continue to use him but the question remains how long can he just cooperate and stand by and not help people that he meets and may start to care about?

  2. Steve says:

    Finish. The. Books.

    Get them done before you do anything else. Don’t pass go.

    Your fans have been patient.

  3. Crowbane says:

    “Due to Martin’s exclusive development agreement with HBO, the author will not be working on the project…”

    @Joe Reading comprehension isn’t your strong suit. Try again.

  4. Joe says:

    Fans want him to finish Song of Fire and Ice and this guy is working on Wild Cards.

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