Syfy Channel is prepping a 90-minute backdoor pilot based on the 1995 Terry Gilliam movie.
Bruce Willis starred in the feature film as James Cole, a convicted criminal in a post-apocalyptic future who attempts to earn a pardon by using imperfect time travel technology to retrieve information from the past about a deadly virus that has ravaged humanity.
Movie producers Chuck Roven and Richard Suckle of Atlas Entertainment are on board for the TV adaptation, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The pitch is for a backdoor pilot movie that could lead straight to a series order, as happened with the Battlestar Galactica mini-series.
Terry Matalas and Travis Fickett (Nikita, Terra Nova) will write the script. Jon Cassar (24) will direct the pilot for Universal Cable Productions.
“We have a great pilot,” Syfy’s president of original programming Mark Stern told The Hollywood Reporter. “We’re now flushing out what the rest of the series might be.”
Stern said that Syfy is aiming to launch five or six new original scripted series next year, but with shorter initial orders of 8 or 10 episodes each. The cable channel successfully premiered the very expensive Defiance in April, and has Ronald D. Moore’s Helix on deck for January.
Read more about the network’s strategy at THR.
UPDATE 9/2/2013: Deadline reports that Syfy has officially given a cast-contingent order for the pilot, but that it will be 60 minutes rather than 90.