Game of Thrones might be winding down, but another series from the master of killing-off-cinnamon-rolls will be there to fill the void. George R.R. Martin's Wild Cards is coming to TV, so prepare for alternate universe adventures from Universal Cable Productions — of Mr Robot and Battlestar Galactica fame.
So what is Wild Cards about? In a blog post announcing the news, Martin described the driving concept:
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.
Martin says UCP's version of Wild Cards will — hopefully — be comprised of "several interlocking series," which is perfect for his anthology-based science fiction series. Since 1986, Martin has edited and published 22 Wild Cards anthologies, mosaic novels, and solo titles, often aided by Melinda M. Snodgrass. A 23rd volume, Wild Cards: High Stakes, will hit store shelves in August, with three more planned as future releases.
It's worth noting that Martin isn't the sole Wild Cards storyteller. More than 30 writers — collectively known as the Wild Cards Trust — have contributed to the series' anthologies, including Chris Claremont, Carrie Vaughn, Cherie Priest, and Roger Zelazny.
If none of those names rings a bell, maybe this one will. In the early days of Wild Cards, a relatively untested young comic book writer named Neil Gaiman pitched Martin a story about a character who lived in the world of dreams. Martin declined the story, which Gaiman later published with DC Comics as Sandman.
Due to his "exclusive development deal with HBO," Martin cannot work on UCP's Wild Cards adaptation. Snodgrass and SyFy's Gregory Noveck will serve as the project's executive producers. When SyFy Films optioned Wild Cards for a big screen release in 2011, it was Noveck who set sights on Martin's series.
With so many stories to choose from, it's clear that the Wild Cards TV series will have plenty of material to keep things interesting. But, Martin says one thing is "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.