Rumours have been circulating for months that Syfy would be producing an adaptation of George R.R. Martin's horror novella Nightflyers. However, apart from a pilot script and some star wishing, everything was relatively up in the air. Now Martin has confirmed that Nightflyers is coming to television with a 10-episode first season
Concept art for the Nightflyer. Image: George R.R. Martin/Livejournal
Martin shared on his Livejournal (cough cough) that Syfy is getting ready to start production on the first season of Nightflyers, with plans to hopefully have the series debut late July 2018 on Syfy, and with Netflix in charge of international distribution. They're currently casting actors for the series - Martin shared that the casting choices have "pleased me more than I can possibly say", but wouldn't share who's been hired or considered.
He also said he didn't actually know that Syfy had acquired the television rights to the new series, via a 1984 movie deal, until last year and was "baffled as to how they hoped to get a series out of my story". Set in Martin's "Thousand Worlds" universe, the sci-fi novella, about a ship heading to meet an alien only for things to go horribly wrong, is pretty short and almost everyone dies in the end. However, Martin said he's talked to showrunner Daniel Cerone (Constantine, The Blacklist) and writer/creator Jeff Buhler (The Midnight Meat Train), getting an idea of what they have in mind, and he also got a chance to read the original pilot script.
"I read a draft of his pilot back in May, when I first heard of the Nightflyers television project. While it departs considerably from my novella in certain details, the essence of the story remains the same - and I thought the teleplay was quite strong on its own terms, and a good launching point for a series," Martin wrote.
He added that he hopes to make it to Ireland to see production for both Nightflyers and the final season of Game of Thrones, but that he'll probably be too busy - not writing the next book, most likely.