We've known since May that Syfy was circling an adaptation of George R.R. Martin's 1980 sci-fi horror novella Nightflyers — and now comes word that the project is moving forward at a rapid pace. Multiple sources are reporting that a straight-to-series order is very close to being announced.
Detail from the original Nightflyers (1987) movie poster. Image: imdb
Both Deadline and The Hollywood Reporter shared the news that Nightflyers — an expanded version of which was also part of a Martin short-story collection released in 1985, as well as the basis of a 1987 feature film — will likely get to series with the help of Netflix, which could make a deal to stream the show internationally, as well as stream it once it's aired on Syfy in the US. Nightflyers already has a showrunner (Dan Cerone of The Blacklist and The Mentalist), as well as a director (Mike Cahill of I Origin and Another Earth; he also directed the pilot for another Syfy show, The Magicians) for its currently-in-production (but not-yet-cast) pilot episode.
The pilot script is by Jeff Buhler, who co-wrote the upcoming Jacob's Ladder remake (as well as the Clive Barker adaptation Midnight Meat Train); THR describes the plot thusly:
It is set in the future on the eve of Earth's destruction and follows a crew of explorers who journey on the most advanced ship in the galaxy, The Nightflyer, to intercept a mysterious alien spacecraft that might hold the key to their survival. As the crew nears their destination, they discover that the ship's artificial intelligence and never-seen captain may be steering them into deadly and unspeakable horrors deep in the dark reaches of space.
"Unspeakable horrors in deep space" is one of our all-time favourite genres, so this is very good news indeed, and we're hopeful that the series gets an official greenlight soon. And lest you worry this is yet another project that will distract George R.R. Martin from what should be his sole focus in life at the moment (finishing The Winds of Winter, duh), fear not — his exclusive HBO deal for Game of Thrones means his involvement in Nightflyers would be solely inspirational.