Brave New World, Aldous Huxley's dystopian classic, is coming to Syfy. Comics writer Grant Morrison and Crank co-director Brian Taylor have been hired to adapt the book to television, and both will be in charge of writing and producing the show.
Syfy has been wanting to make the book into a television miniseries for over a year, but several roadblocks, including a conflict with Steven Spielberg's Amblin TV, have prevented it from happening. Originally, Syfy asked Dante's Peak writer Les Bohem to direct the project, but ended up replacing him with Morrison and Taylor. Amblin TV's Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey will join them as executive producers.
Some consider Brave New World, written by Huxley in 1931, one of the greatest novels of the 20th century. The world imagined in Huxley's book is often compared to the sterilized society envisioned in George Orwell's classic work 1984.
Brave New World is set in London around the year 2540 when poverty, war, and disease as well as independent thought have been eradicated. In this world, the natural human reproduction process has been replaced with children being born in hatcheries. As the children grow up, they are conditioned through sleep-learning to accept life as it is. While individuality is frowned upon and often punished, recreational drug use and random sex are encouraged.
Run by 10 World Controllers, the government in Brave New World dispenses mind-altering drugs to its citizens to suppress any feelings or thoughts of rebellion, essentially keeping them in power indefinitely. Any adults who still fail to conform to society are sent to "reservations" for reconditioning. Repulsed by the mistreatment of the people and destruction of thought, two individuals speak up and form a revolt against their oppressors.
Aldous Huxley was an English writer and philosopher. He was born on July 26, 1894 and died on November 22, 1963, the same day President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. He began editing for the magazine Oxford Poetry early in his writing career, while also publishing a variety of short stories. Best known for writing Brave New World, he wrote several essays and non-fiction books as well, including The Doors of Perception.
The story of Happy revolves around a character named Nick Sax, a crooked, often intoxicated ex-cop that wanders a world where spontaneous murders, unemotional sex, and treachery are common. As the "grimy crime black comedy" plot progresses, Nick is shot, on the run from the cops and the mob, and chased by a killer dressed as Santa Claus. He ultimately finds a friend in an imaginary tiny blue-winged horse with a positive attitude named Happy.
Syfy's adaptation of Brave New World follows other science fiction novels being made for TV. Last year, the network premiered Childhood's End, a novel written by Arthur C. Clarke. Other novels converted to shows include The Magicians from the books penned by Lev Grossman, and The Expanse based on a series of books by James S.A. Corey.
Brave New World was adapted to television previously in a 1980 NBC movie starring Bud Cort, Ron O'Neal, Julie Cobb, and Keir Dullea. Another version with Peter Gallagher and Leonard Nimoy aired on NBC in 1998.
[Photo by RU/ThinkStock]