When people hear the name George R. R. Martin, their first instinct is to mention Game of Thrones. The series of novels and the highly successful television series on HBO is Martin’s crowning achievement in literature without any doubt. It’s the series that has earned him the moniker of being “America’s Tolkien.”
However, Martin has written a great deal outside of the world of Westeros. His devoted fanbase and millions of readers wish he would just finish the next book of the Thrones series rather than write anything else, but one chapter will have to be enough for now.
In the meantime, it seems that Martin is getting his pen ready a different television series that could be as popular or even more so than Game of Thrones someday. If you’re a fan of the Wild Card series from the 1980s before Martin even published Game of Thrones, this news will be a long time coming for some and others are in for a pleasant surprise.
According to a report from Entertainment Weekly, George R.R. Martin announced yesterday that his Wild Card anthology series has been picked up by Universal Cable Productions and will be developed into a full television series. Production on the series is expected to begin immediately. Since the series is comprised of 22 books thus far, it has the potential to last for a long time and be a major money maker for Universal Sable Productions.
If you’re concerned about them taking on such a project, UCP programming includes Mr. Robot, Colony, Suits, and more on the USA Network as well as several other television series that have gained critical and financial success in the past such as Monk, Psych, and Battlestar Galactica. The difference is now they have a show with George R.R. Martin’s name attached to it.
The series is set in an alternate world in post-World War II United States where an alien virus is released over New York City in the 1940s. The virus infects the human race on a global scale with each human being affected differently because of the unique nature of the virus. It leads to the death of ninety percent of the people it comes into contact with, but the remaining nine percent are known as “jokers,” who have physically affected by the virus. One percent develops superhuman abilities.
The series has very high expectations from almost everyone involved, especially from George R.R. Martin, who believes the series could even rival the scale and universe building of Marvel and DC’s work in film and television. Martin said the following about the potential success of the series:
“Wild Cards is a series of books, graphic novels, games… but most of all it is a universe, as large and diverse and exciting as the comic book universes of Marvel and DC (though somewhat grittier, and considerably more realistic and more consistent), with an enormous cast of characters both major and minor,” he writes. “There are thousands of stories to be told in the world of the Wild Cards, and Gregory and Melinda and UPC hope to be able to tell many of them.”
It’s going to be some time before the series airs. Game of Thrones will most likely have ended it’s run on HBO, and there is no way to guess if Martin’s Winds of Winter will be released to satisfy Thrones fans. In time, Wild Cards could be the next big thing that has Martin’s name attached to it, which would give fans of his work something else to remember him by.
[Photo by Rich Fury/AP Images]