Dan Simmons’ best-selling 2007 novel The Terror has been greenlit by AMC to become a new anthology drama series, reports Entertainment Weekly. With The Walking Dead being as ridiculously popular as it is on AMC, it’s no surprise that the network would want to create another horror-themed show.
“We’ve been focused on developing this incredible story for television with these great partners for a couple of years, and we think it provides rich dramatic material but also an opportunity to explore the anthology format, which is something we’re extremely interested in and offers some unique possibilities,” said Joel Stillerman, the president of development and original programming for AMC and SundanceTV.
David Kajganich has been brought on by AMC to serve as The Terror’s co-showrunner, along with Soo Hugh (The Whispers, The Killing). AMC’s The Terror is going to take place in 1847 at the time of a Royal Naval expedition crew in search of the Northwest Passage. They are suddenly attacked by a strange and unknown predator that stalks the ships as well as their crew while they all try and survive. AMC has ordered 10 hour-long episodes that are set to premiere in 2017.
Executive producers are Ridley Scott and David W. Zucker of Scott Free, Alexandra Milchan, and Scott Lambert.
“Originality is still something that gets our attention every day, and the very unique mixing of historical non-fiction with a gripping and imaginative science fiction overlay in Dan’s novel is something that we hadn’t seen before,” Stillerman continued. “That, combined with an exceptional team behind the project made this something we really wanted to bring to air on AMC.”
Showrunner David Kajganich praised Simmons’ novel and described what types of elements the show will be exploring.
“Dan’s novel is that rare combination of fascinating actual history, ground-breaking genre storytelling, and the complex character work of literature,” Kajganich said. “The chance to launch a series that will incorporate all of these elements going forward, and with a team of this caliber, is extraordinary.”
Although Dan Simmons’ The Terror was a bestseller, the novel originally received mixed reactions from critics. The novel is a fictitious version of Royal Navy Captain Sir John Franklin’s real-life lost expedition of HMS Erebus and HMS Terror to the Arctic to force the Northwest Passage, which took place from 1845 to 1848.
The novel is told in a non-linear fashion, starting at the midway point of the plot and using flashbacks to tell the story. It also switches viewpoints between multiple characters and adopts both a first-person and third-person narrative structure.
The major characters of The Terror include Captain Francis Crozier, the expedition’s second in command; Commander James Fitzjames, third in command; Dr. Harry D.S. Goodsir, anatomist and assistant surgeon; Lieutenant John Irving; and seaman Magnus Manson.
Aside from The Terror, Dan Simmons has written a number of novels in the genres of science fiction, horror, and fantasy. Simmons is a Hugo Award-winning author.
“As a long-time fan of Dan Simmons, the opportunity to join this project is a dream come true,” Soo Hugh said of the AMC series. “We look forward to bringing this story to life for the passionate AMC audience.”
AMC has a slew of other shows on the way along with The Terror. Filmmaker Kevin Smith, who already produces a show with the network called Comic Book Men, will be hosting a late-night pop culture talk show, along with Greg Grunberg, for AMC. In addition, the network picked up a travel series, Ride with Norman Reedus, which will star Walking Dead favorite Reedus as he travels across the country riding on his motorcycle.
Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg are producing and creating a series based on the popular comic series Preacher. AMC also has a miniseries on the way called The Night Manager, which will feature Tom Hiddleston, Hugh Laurie, and Olivia Colman. The network also has the drama Feed the Beast planned for release starring David Schwimmer and Jim Sturgess.
The Terror was nominated for the British Fantasy Award in 2008.
[Photo via AMC]