The 'Westworld' Creators' New Futuristic Drama Series May Be Even Creepier Than Their Hit HBO Series
Anyone in the market for an eerie new sci-fi fix? For those pop culture buffs in dogged pursuit of the next white-knuckling dystopian thriller, it's probably worth it to keep an eye out for The Peripheral, a new futuristic drama series by Westworld creators Lisa Joy and Jonathan Nolan, as reported by The Hollywood Reporter on Tuesday, April 17. Because, in addition to its promising creative team, The Peripheral, even in its earliest development stages, is already sounding like it's going to be even creepier than Westworld. (Based on what is known about the series so far, anyway.)
Speaking of Westworld, the show's second season hasn't yet made its HBO premiere (just five more days!), but it looks like Joy and Nolan — who double as both acclaimed creative duo and a married couple to boot — are already laying the groundwork for what could potentially be their next big hit. Per The Hollywood Reporter, Joy and Nolan are set to partner with Amazon Studios (in conjunction with Kilter Films, a branch of Warner Bros.) on the upcoming project. Just in case there are any doubts as to the legitimacy of the new series' potential for next-level goosebumps, check out the plot description for William Gibson's 2014 novel of the same name.
Though the plot specifics of Gibson's The Peripheral are pretty convoluted, in broad strokes, the book essentially serves to paint a distinctly sinister picture of a dystopian future America — one marred by the insouciant, but entirely terrifying, rise of ostensibly post-modern technology. Even just at a glance, the story seems like a perfect fit for the likes of Joy and Nolan. As Westworld fans are likely well-aware, adapting edgy cyber-themed novels (particularly those underpinned by some kind of harrowing social message) for TV seems to be the powerhouse production duo's cinematic M.O.
After all, lest fans forget that, before Westworld became the cunning, powerhouse HBO series it is today, it was a largely forgotten 1973 sci-fi western film, which, of course, chronicled the android-helmed killings of human patrons attending a "futuristic" amusement park. So, in looking toward a second adaptation of similar tenor, it makes sense that the creators turned to a writer like Gibson.
For those unfamiliar with his work, Gibson is perhaps best known for penning the 1984 sci-fi thriller novel, Neuromancer, is widely credited with conceiving of a sub-genre within sci-fi called "cyberpunk," whose primary tenets essentially call for a stark pairing of tech-savvy, futuristic advancements and partial (at least) societal bedlam. Sounds quite a bit like Westworld's wheelhouse, no? Perhaps that's what Joy and Nolan were thinking, too.
Alongside a whole rolodex of creatives with a penchant for all things thriller, the duo has now kickstarted the process of adapting Gibson's book for the small screen, according to a Tuesday, April 17, report by The Hollywood Reporter. As THR reported, development on the series has officially been put into motion at Amazon — albeit, on a semi-conditional basis. To that end, the streaming outlet has billed what THR calls a "script-to-series" order for The Peripheral, which basically just means the studio is waiting to see a a more fleshed-out series script before it officially gives the project the green light.
According to Tuesday's report, Scott B. Smith will write the script for The Peripheral. Judging by his previous credits, it certainly looks like he's the person for the job. As far as scintillating thriller adaptations go, Smith — whose hair-raising 1998 adaptation of his own early '90s thriller novel, A Simple Plan, earned him an Academy Award nomination — is something of a veteran.
So, who else is crossing their fingers for a speedy turnaround on Joy and Nolan's (hopefully) upcoming new series? In the meantime, fans can bear witness to the duo's hard-earned creative prowess per the release of Westworld's second season, set to kick off this Sunday, April 22 on HBO.