The premium cabler is developing a sci-fi series based on Michael Crichton’s 1987 novel, which was previously adapted into the 1998 film starring Dustin Hoffman, Sharon Stone and Samuel L. Jackson.
This new series version hails from showrunner, writer and executive producer Denise Thé, who is currently an EP on another HBO show in “Westworld.”
“Sphere” plunges the audience one thousand feet into the ocean, where a group of scientists confronts the surreal, beautiful, and deadly mysteries of the universe, only to find the people closest to us may prove to be the most alien. The film version, directed by Barry Levinson, only just managed to recoup its budget, grossing around $73 million at the worldwide box office.
The series is being produced by Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy’s Kilter Film and Robert Downey Jr. and Susan Downey’s Team Downey, in association with Warner Bros. Television. Nolan, Joy and Athena Wickham will also serve as executive producers, alongside Team Downey’s Robert Downey Jr, Susan Downey and Amanda Burrell.
Nolan, Joy and Kilter’s involvement in the project may come as a surprise, given that they exited Warner Bros. TV for a massive overall deal at Amazon last year, however, sources with knowledge of the situation say the “Sphere” series was already in development before they left WBTV.
The two producers are already developing a series based on the “Fallout” vide game franchise with the streamer.
As for Team Downey, this represents the company’s second HBO project (where it’s under a first-look deal), after the highly successful “Perry Mason” reboot which finished its first season earlier this month.
Thé most recently served as executive producer and writer on season 3 of “Westworld,” and is also known for writing and producing “Person of Interest.” She worked as a consulting producer on “Gotham,” and her other writing credits include “Medium,” “Cold Case,” and “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.”