Amazon Studios is on a quest – a quest to bring Jeff Bezos a ‘Game of Thrones’ of his very own. But the Amazon version may be found in the stars, rather than in a mythical fantasy past. Amazon Studios is working on three new series (via Deadline) based on celebrated sci-fi book properties, including Ringworld, Lazarus and Snow Crash.
The series are all part of efforts driven by Amazon’s new Head of Event Series Sharon Gal, and all should have a strong fan following to drive initial interest, with potential for broader appeal along the lines of prior similar adaptations like AMC’s The Walking Dead.
Of the three sci-fi titles mentioned above, you’ve probably heard of at least one, probably two, and maybe even all three, especially if you’re a regular TechCrunch reader. Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash might be the most recognizable of all the above, since it’s considered a seminal work among many modern technologists. The plot follows the story of Hiro Protagonist, a pizza delivery man who also occupies a lofty part of society in the VR world where most people spend a lot of time.
Lazarus is a comic book series created by Greg Rucka (who also created Jessica Jones) that takes place in the near future, focused on feudal conflicts among 16 families who between them control the world. The families each have a designated “Lazarus,” who is basically a super assassin.
Larry Niven’s Ringworld is another classic sci-fi book series, and follows protagonist Louis Gridley Wu as he follows some companions in exploration of an artificial world known as Ringworld. It’s a project that’s being developed in partnership with MGM by Amazon, and it could indeed form the basis for something ‘epic’ in scale.
If Amazon can pull even one of these off with something that even approaches Man in the High Castle in terms of production quality, it should have another hit on its hands. Will any of them be the ‘Game of Thrones’ Bezos is seeking? That remains to be seen.