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We have some exciting new for all the Wild Cards fans out there.

Universal Cable Productions (UCP) has acquired the rights to adapt our long-running Wild Cards series of anthologies and mosaic novels for television. Development will begin immediately on what we hope will be the first of several interlocking series. Melinda M. Snodgrass, my assistant editor and right-hand man on Wild Cards since its inception, the creator of Dr. Tachyon, Double Helix, and Franny Black, and a seasoned television writer/ producer whose credits include STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION ("Measure of a Man"), REASONABLE DOUBTS, THE PROFILER, and STAR COMMAND, is attached as an executive producer on the project, together with Gregory Noveck of RED, Slow Learner, and SyFy Films



UCP creates innovative and critically acclaimed television and digital content across various media platforms for domestic and international distribution. Their programming can be seen across numerous networks and channels across the world, and includes the Golden Globe and Peabody award-winning drama MR. ROBOT, the exciting new SF series COLONY, PLAYING HOUSE, ROYAL PAINS, and SUITS on the USA Network; Lev Grossman's brilliant THE MAGICIANS, 12 MONKEYS, and KILLJOYS on SyFY; GIRLFRIENDS' GUIDE TO DIVORCE on Bravo; THE ROYALS on E!; and DIFFICULT PEOPLE on Hulu. UCP's content library includes such fan favorites such as the Emmy-award winning MONK, PYSCH, and BATTLESTAR GALACTICA. Universal Cable Productions is a part of NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment, a division of NBCUniversal, one of the world's leading media and entertainment companies. (Follow them at @UCPisTV).



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.

The first volume of the Wild Cards series was published in 1986, and was a finalist for that year's Hugo Award, ultimately losing to Alan Moore's WATCHMEN. Twenty-two volumes have been published to date, with a twenty-third (HIGH STAKES) scheduled for hardcover release later this month, and three more in the works. Translations and reprints of many of the Wild Cards books and stories have been published around the globe, in France, Germany, Brazil, Spain, Mexico, Russia, Japan, Italy, and the United Kingdom. Comic books, graphic novels, and role-playing games have also chronicled the adventures of the aces and jokers of the WC universe.



Generations of writers, from bold new voices to visionary grand masters, have contributed to the Wild Cards universe over the past three decades. Our roster of writers and creators includes Howard Waldrop, Walter Jon Williams, Stephen Leigh, Victor Milan, John Jos. Miller, Gail Gerstner Miller, Edward Bryant, Leanne C. Harper, Arthur Byron Cover, Chris Claremont, Lewis Shiner, Walton (Bud) Simons, Steve Perrin, Royce Wideman, Pat Cadigan, Sage Walker, Laura J. Mixon, Parris, William F. Wu, Michael Cassutt, Kevin Andrew Murphy, Daniel Abraham, Ty Franck, Bob Wayne, S.L. Farrell, Carrie Vaughn, Caroline Spector, Christopher Rowe, Ian Tregillis, David D. Levine, David Anthony Durham, Cherie Priest, Paul Cornell, Craig Chrissinger, Mary Anne Mohanraj, Max Gladstone, Marko Kloos, Diana Rowland, Bradley Denton, Saladin Ahmed, the late great Roger Zelazny, and of course Melinda Snodgrass and yours truly.



Wild Cards is a series of 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. There are thousands of stories to be told in the world of the Wild Cards, and Gregory and Melinda and UPC hope to be able to tell many of them.

Which stories will be adapted? Which characters will be featured? Hard to say at this early stage. Let's see... we have Jetboy, the Four Aces, Dr. Tachyon, the Great and Powerful Turtle, Modular Man, Yeoman, Wraith, Cap'n Trips, Fortunato, Puppetman, Chrysalis, Popinjay, the Oddity, Father Squid, Water Lily, Sewer Jack, Bagabond, Peregrine, Carnifex, Infamous Black Tongue, Bugsy, Curveball, Earth Witch, Cameo, Elephant Girl, Demise, Ramshead, Mackie Messer, Mr. Nobody, Double Helix, the Amazing Bubbles, Stuntman, Rustbelt, Lohengrin, Hoodoo Mama, Drummer Boy, Abigail the Understudy, the Midnight Angel, and many many MANY more. Which ones will you see? I don't know. Which ones do you want to see? Tell us below, in the comments. I am sure that Melinda and Gregory and UPC will be listening.

Only one thing I can say for (almost) sure. You will be seeing Croyd Crenson, no matter shape the eventual show or shows ends up taking. It wouldn't be Wild Cards without the Sleeper.



So there it is. I hope you're as excited as I am. Of course, Hollywood is Hollywood, and nothing is ever certain in development... but I think I hope I cross my fingers that the Wild Cards will be coming to your home screens in the next year or two.

I won't be working on the series myself... my own development deal is exclusive to HBO, and I am writing THE WINDS OF WINTER, as I believe most of you will recall... but I have every confidence in Melinda Snodgrass and Gregory Noveck. They know and love the Wild Cards universe almost as well as I do, and I think they will do a terrific job. Wish them luck.

((And be sure to come to the Wild Cards Cage Matchs at worldcon, and snap up HIGH STAKES when it hits the stands later this month)).

Clear skies and tailwinds, as Jetboy would say.

((Please stay on topic in your comments. ANY comment not related to Wild Cards will be screened and deleted unread)).

Comments

( 106 comments )
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Bobby John
Aug. 6th, 2016 08:13 pm (UTC)
good starting point?
is there a definitive starting point? if so, what is it?

If not, what would you recommend as a starter?
grrm
Aug. 6th, 2016 08:47 pm (UTC)
Re: good starting point?
Vol 1 WILD CARDS and vol 18 INSIDE STRAIGHT are the best entry points.

Vol 21 FORT FREAK will also work.
Re: good starting point? - historicfantasy - Aug. 6th, 2016 11:17 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: good starting point? - Kimberly Unger - Aug. 6th, 2016 11:57 pm (UTC) - Expand
gladia
Aug. 6th, 2016 08:26 pm (UTC)
Yay
One of the best news I've read this week. Always hoped WC might come to the screen! :-)
Dan Koifman
Aug. 6th, 2016 08:31 pm (UTC)
I can only imagine how proud you must be of having both your babies on the verge of making to television.

Both of the worlds you created are so large and sprawling that they are *almost* too big for TV. That's what will make WILD CARDS a smashing success too. Congrats!
musedmoose
Aug. 6th, 2016 08:33 pm (UTC)
This is excellent news. I've been reading the older Wild Cards books in the re-releases (just finished #5 last night) and I like them as much as the new ones. The series would be awesome as a TV show.

I know it's surely a long way off from talking about casting, but if Senator Hartmann is going to be in this series, I highly recommend Brett Dalton, late of "Agents of SHIELD". He did some amazing work as a double agent in that show, and I think he could pull off Hartmann very well.
scriptbabe
Aug. 6th, 2016 09:01 pm (UTC)
Brett Dalton
I have my eye on Mr. Dalton, but for a different role. 😉
Re: Brett Dalton - gman109 - Aug. 14th, 2016 01:30 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - Adam Billman - Aug. 8th, 2016 04:02 am (UTC) - Expand
somniture
Aug. 6th, 2016 08:42 pm (UTC)
Congratulations
Looking forward to seeing them. Thanks again for all your work.
hippoiathanatoi
Aug. 6th, 2016 08:42 pm (UTC)
Exciting news! After the shambles which was the HEROES reboot (and, really, everything after season 1 of that show), it'd be nice to see a different take on superheroes on TV. The closest that's around right now is POWERS, based on the Bendis and Oeming comic, and that's limited to the Sony Playstation streaming network... and has a very small budget by the looks of the clips and stills.

Having recently binged STRANGER THINGS (which you may enjoy George, if you haven't seen it, provided you'd enjoy a sort of Spielberg-meets-Stephen-King circa the 80s homage/pastiche), it feels like the time is right to do something that starts as a period piece... so, though it's unoriginal, I'd love to see the cast and story lines of the initial WILD CARDS novels. Start with Jetboy and Tachyon, take it into the 80s, go from there.

I suppose you could shift things forward (and doubtless there are strong arguments for having a more contemporary setting), but the popularity and success of STRANGER THINGS makes me think viewers won't balk at watching a show set 30-odd years in the past if it's compelling enough.

vikjha
Aug. 7th, 2016 01:00 am (UTC)
D'accord!
Stranger Things was great...
(no subject) - milkforfree - Aug. 7th, 2016 11:18 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - gman109 - Aug. 14th, 2016 01:33 am (UTC) - Expand
Michael Shannon
Aug. 6th, 2016 08:52 pm (UTC)
Characters to feature
I came to Wild Cards with the more recent braided novels - so my vote would be for that set of characterd, especially the Amazing Bubbles and Hoodoo Mama...
Steve Howard
Aug. 6th, 2016 09:22 pm (UTC)
Oh, HELLS YEAH! About time!!!
AWESOMENESS!!

I say start from the beginning, and work through chronologically. You can integrate the retro stories in (like the card sharks tales with Pan Rudo and co., and the Deuces Down stories)!
Jason Powell
Aug. 6th, 2016 11:37 pm (UTC)
RE: Oh, HELLS YEAH! About time!!!
This would be my vote as well, albeit probably difficult to do in practical terms.

Characters I'd like to see:
Turtle
Popinjay
Capn Trips
Golden Boy
Mod Man
Black Shadow
Jonathan Hive
Carnifex
The Mechanic

RE: Oh, HELLS YEAH! About time!!! - rmwick - Aug. 7th, 2016 03:27 am (UTC) - Expand
John Nelson
Aug. 6th, 2016 09:27 pm (UTC)
This is such excellent news! Obviously this will satiate the "TV only" GoT fans with more of your offerings to the screen. But after having my mind blown by AMC's Preacher, I personally need more series containing high velocity of creativity, intensity and unpredictability. And with tons of playful eccentricity. And of course your camp is the best of the best for that sort of thing. I. Can. Not. WAIT!
livejournal
Aug. 6th, 2016 09:27 pm (UTC)
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Matthew Lombardo
Aug. 6th, 2016 09:36 pm (UTC)
(I hope you don't mind me posting this George, though I'll totally understand if you delete it.)

I was wondering, how would one apply for a staff writing position on one of these shows? I would love to contribute if you'd have me!

I've written a spec for the first episode of Daredevil Season 3 (I wrote it before The Defenders was announced): https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B2Sq-7wNJxq2TmdUNG1zSFpfbkE. If interested, my contact information is on the title page of the script.

Thanks!
aota
Aug. 6th, 2016 09:52 pm (UTC)
Yes!!

So looking forward to this.
cashcraig
Aug. 6th, 2016 09:57 pm (UTC)
Fantastic!
This is wonderful news, and I hope it all works out smoothly.

Surely you must start with the classics? I don't think you could go wrong with adapting the first 7 volumes. The Astronomer, Puppetman, Ti Malice and Blaise make perfect TV villains.

Past that... well bring in the best parts of the next volumes. Bloat, Trips in Vietnam, some Card Sharks.

Does Melinda still want Tom Hiddleston to play Tachyon? I hope so, but good luck pulling him away from Marvel. Meanwhile Croyd will be an ensemble cast all on his own.

Very exciting!

Edited at 2016-08-06 09:59 pm (UTC)
scriptbabe
Aug. 7th, 2016 03:17 am (UTC)
Re: Fantastic!
Actually I had pictured Hiddleston as Noel Matthews aka Double Helix, but Tachyon is an interesting idea. Of course that's fantasy casting. I doubt he would be available.
Re: Fantastic! - cashcraig - Aug. 7th, 2016 03:22 am (UTC) - Expand
gerisullivan
Aug. 6th, 2016 11:34 pm (UTC)
Great news! I'm delighted for the entire Wild Cards cohort, especially for Melinda. She'll do a splendid job with it. I look forward to congratulating her in person in Kansas City.
renepavan
Aug. 7th, 2016 03:27 pm (UTC)
This is amazing news. I've been a fan of Wild Cards pretty much from the start. I love both the old and the new books, but my preference would be for all the books to be adapted, starting with the old ones. I have a soft spot for the "original" books and characters.

It's funny because, for a long time, I thought Wild Cards was impossible to adapt. But things have progressed in ways to make it possible.

We have a Golden Age of television with many high-concept TV shows, many of them including sex and violence the likes we never could see in older shows (and Wild Cards needs a bit of a free reign on both for authenticity). We have superheroes becoming enough of a pop culture juggernaut so that the deconstructive takes like Wild Cards are finally understandable to the public. We even have Stranger Things and other shows proving that you CAN have a show set in the 1980s and 1990s and make it successful.

The only thing I'm afraid of is that a lot of the grandeur and scale of Wild Cards may be a bit too much for a TV show. Book One alone has lots of aerial battles, the Four Aces travelling all over the world, hundreds of jokers, period recreations of the 1940s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s... and many crowd scenes, particularly the first Wild Card Day, Mark Meadows going to rock shows and campus protests in the 1960s, and the Riot in Jokertown. It may be too much for a TV show's budget. And if we get to Book 2, then we have the Swarm Invasion and the Great Ape.

Of course, we also have many stories that would be cheaper to produce and possible on a TV budget. The Sleeper, Fortunato, and Yeoman mostly have the sort of urban crime stories that should not be overtly expensive. And the old cast of characters includes lots of psionic characters that would make special effects cheaper than the more physically-oriented Committee aces.

In any case, I'm super-excited for this. Congrats to you and to all Wild Cards writers.

jere7my
Aug. 7th, 2016 12:50 am (UTC)
Excellent news. I've been reading them since 1992. My vote will always be for the Great and Powerful Turtle, with an honorable mention for Jhubben.
vikjha
Aug. 7th, 2016 12:58 am (UTC)
Nice!
Nice! Really hope they don't mess this up... Even tho i grew up on comics i'm afraid most of the comic book movies i should have loved became debacles... daredevil and jessica jones are good series i havent seen green arrow or the others but maybe they can pull it off...

Mr. Martin and fans, I suggest you take a look at and watch Adi Shankar's Gods and Secrets... as far as producers go I have a lot of faith in the guy's ability... and I'm pretty sure it's gonna be amazing. Coming to HBO i believe, just like thrones. *Edit* my fault, tho he's worked as a producer thus far (full budget films as well as amazing youtube shorts, power rangers and james bond) he'll be taking over as a director it seems...

Edited at 2016-08-07 01:10 am (UTC)
iam_meno_tyou
Aug. 7th, 2016 01:04 am (UTC)
I'd love to see the four aces in action, but more specifically a focus on the alternate history(now would be period pieces). A modern show would be alright with flashbacks/history lessons, but I'd really like it to be a period piece.

My favorite characters are Dr. Tachyon, the Turtle, Golden boy, the Sleeper, popinjay and Jube the Walrus. My favorite villains are the swarm and the nat anti-wild card conspiracy. I'd love to see the network, either in new content or as part of the swarm storyline. I also like Takis.

Also congrats, you got me to log into livejournal after many, many years away.
Drew Bittner
Aug. 7th, 2016 01:17 am (UTC)
What great news!!
First off, congratulations! This has been years in the making and kudos to all involved. I know Melinda will do a magnificent job as EP.
Who to include? I figure the showrunner would prefer that the show be contemporary, so I'd suggest starting with American Hero and leading into the formation of the Committee. That would mean:
Amazing Bubbles, Bugsy, Stuntman, John Fortune, Lohengrin, Rustbelt, Gardener, Simoon, Noel Matthews (not a contestant but Noel's story ran parallel to theirs), Curveball, Drummer Boy and Earth Witch. And Croyd would have to be there.

From there? Well, the sky is the limit. I hope that the older characters get a chance to be seen, in flashbacks or old footage or similar, because they helped make the world what it is.

Good luck and here's to the show living up to its source material!
Tracy Soldan
Aug. 7th, 2016 01:58 am (UTC)
Anthology, series, or hybrid format?
Most of the series I enjoy occasionally have an episode focusing on secondary characters. Given the nature of the Wild Cards universe I would hope this can be done with it.

This is driven by my desire to see Quasiman.

I'd also hope to see examples of characters from abroad such as Nur al-Allah (though he might be problematic given current events) and the Hero Twins.
lillian13
Aug. 7th, 2016 01:59 am (UTC)
This makes me so happy. I've been telling everyone for years that this series would make an excellent show. Finally!
Justin Knight
Aug. 7th, 2016 04:52 am (UTC)
Yay to Croyd!
I'm glad you specificallly mentioned The Sleeper. I was worried that he might not make it in due to Roger not being able to sign off on it.

That just makes me giddy as a school girl to know.
agritura
Aug. 7th, 2016 07:26 am (UTC)
Not particularly understand what is written here, as used Google-translator for the translation mostly, but pictures are really cool!
agritura
Aug. 7th, 2016 07:39 am (UTC)
Why would not you generate of creation of park such as Disneyland - something like a miniature Westeros, horrors room on 250 hectares? Just such idea took it into blonde-head :)
vikjha
Aug. 7th, 2016 06:00 pm (UTC)
Adult theme park fun!
That would be an amazing theme park for adults, i'd go in a heart beat... imagine live actors reenacting ned starks execution!!! what fun!!! where's arya?!?
Re: Adult theme park fun! - grrm - Aug. 7th, 2016 09:19 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Adult theme park fun! - cashcraig - Aug. 8th, 2016 02:12 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Adult theme park fun! - hazyshape - Aug. 11th, 2016 09:46 am (UTC) - Expand
shadrich
Aug. 7th, 2016 09:30 am (UTC)
diveregence
"The shared world of the Wild Cards diverged from our own on September 15, 1946"

That's not true George! Our world didn't have Jet Boy and his one-of-a-kind-pre-wwii jet that he could use for years in war conditions (no air-frame would survive such stress in real life and airplanes only function thanks to constant repair and replacement parts).

I am sure if you had known that the series would be such a long-term success you would have returned Waldrop's contribution and asked him to color within the agreed upon lines ;)
ADragonDemands
Aug. 7th, 2016 02:01 pm (UTC)
Are special effects up to it?
Can TV special effects really do justice to the Jokers?

I mean, the best part of the books are the Jokers that look like "Monsters of the ID" -- utterly impossible creatures to the point that the "Black Trump" is really more of a spectrum; some of them so badly mutated it's simply unsustainable.

It's not really like Marvel's mutants, even the Morlocks, who tend to have sort of beneficial mutations, or at least "rational" ones.

And Dr. Tachyon isn't really what you'd expect from a space alien, he looks like some foppish runaway from a renaissance fair. Doesn't even have a cosmic Warhammer or something. (sarcasm)

It's good that SyFy really turned itself around (by literally firing everyone who worked at the network before 2011, then working on the Expanse to get some space opera).

Always wondered: The Takisians sound a lot like the Qartheen, is there a connection? Both are effete elite cultures that consider public displays of over-exaggerated emotion and crying to be a sign of the refinement.

Well I hope the TV show works out. Things might get complicated if they include that character who has the same name that I do in real life.
renepavan
Aug. 7th, 2016 05:18 pm (UTC)
Re: Are special effects up to it?
I always thought Doctor Tachyon was sort of a deconstruction of the Doctor (from Doctor Who). He is really a long-lived, eccentric human that dresses in anachronistic clothing and even has a living spaceship. The difference is that Tachyon is addicted to sex and alcohol and instead of dominating every situation and saving mankind, he is more prone to failure.

I am also worried about the jokers.
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