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The Raven Cycle and Sand - Book Adaptations in Development at Syfy



UCP today announced it is developing Maggie Stiefvater’s New York Times bestselling book series “The Raven Cycle” and Hugh Howey’s iconic post-apocalyptic novel series “Sand” for SYFY.

Based on Stiefvater’s four rural fantasy novels, “The Raven Cycle” tells the story of seventeen year old Blue Sargent who becomes involved with a group of four privileged private school boys on a quest to find a source of mythical and mysterious power hidden deep in rural Virginia. The closer they get to taking control of their destiny, the more threatening their journey becomes - both physically and emotionally, as Blue discovers she’s fated to kill one of the boys. Michael London (“The Magicians”) of Groundswell Productions will executive produce alongside showrunner/writer Andrew Miller (“The Secret Circle”) and Catherine Hardwicke (“Twilight”). Stiefvater will serve as co-EP. Hardwicke is also attached to direct the pilot.

“Sand,” a co-production with Imperative Entertainment, is an action drama set in a world ravaged by ecological devastation, savage winds, and shifting dunes. At its center is a family who makes their way in this world as sand divers: the elite few who can travel deep beneath the desert floor to retrieve mysterious and valuable relics lost to the dust. Adrift in the wake of their father’s disappearance years ago, they rely on skill and each other to endure this ruthless environment where otherwise good people lie, sabotage, and kill in order to survive. The series has an impressively large canvas of works, while telling a compelling and intimate story based on the best-selling dystopian novels by New York Times bestselling author Hugh Howey, who is also set to executive produce. The novels will be adapted for television by Executive Producer Gary Whitta (“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”). The pilot will be directed by Marc Forster (“World War Z”) who will also executive produce along with his partner Renee Wolf (“All I See Is You”); Imperative Entertainment’s Dan Friedkin (“All The Money in the World”), Tim Kring (“Heroes”) and Justin Levy (“Teen Wolf”) will also serve as executive producers.

Following up to last year’s development announcement of “Welcome to Hitchcock,” UCP announced today that Evan Spiliotopoulos (“Beauty and The Beast”) is attached to write the series, which is inspired by the work of Hollywood’s master of suspense and brings a modern day take on the very best of Alfred Hitchcock with contemporary retellings of his classic tales from innovative filmmakers and high-profile actors. UCP will collaborate on the project with Vermilion Entertainment, the newly formed television production company by the founders of Cross Creek Pictures, as well as Academy Award®-nominated producer Chris Columbus’ 1492 Pictures/Ocean Blue Entertainment. Columbus, Academy Award®-nominated producer Michael Barnathan, Timmy Thompson and Todd Thompson will serve as executive producers along with the Hitchcock Trust, as part of its development deal with UCP.

UCP is also adapting Kurt Vonnegut's “Sirens of Titan,” with Dan Harmon (“Rick & Morty”) and Evan Katz (“Small Crimes”). The story follows Malachi Constant, the richest man in 22nd-century America. He possesses extraordinary luck which he attributes to divine favor and has used to build upon his father's fortune. He becomes the center point of a journey that takes him from Earth to Mars in preparation for an interplanetary war, to Mercury with another Martian survivor of that war, back to Earth to be pilloried as a sign of Man's displeasure with his arrogance, and finally to Titan where he again meets the man ostensibly responsible for the turn of events that have befallen him.

The studio also announced it has optioned "Lord of Light," based on the Hugo award-winning science fantasy novel by Roger Zelazny. After humans have moved to a new planet, technological disparities allow a privileged few to assume the names and likenesses of deities, and rule over the common people. Tired of the system, a former "god" wages war against the unjust regime. Set to produce are Gale Anne Hurd (the “Terminator” trilogy) and Valhalla Entertainment; Barry Ira Gellar, Rich Angell and Mark B. Newbauer of Mike and Pike Productions. Ashley Miller ("X-Men") will executive produce and is also set to write the adaptation.

“The Raven Cycle,” “Sand,” “Sirens of Titan,” and “Lord of Light” are the latest addition to UCP’s impressive genre development slate, including two projects from its recently announced overall deal with legendary horror master John Carpenter: “Tales for a Halloween Night” for SYFY and “Nightside.” On the heels of their “Umbrella Academy” Netflix series pick-up, UCP also announced yesterday a renewed first look deal with Dark Horse Entertainment to develop comic book IP and hit podcasts for TV. Currently, UCP is in various stages of production and script development on a range of series including: Season 3 of the award-winning “Mr. Robot,” “The Sinner,” “Damnation,” and “Unsolved: The Murders of Tupac and The Notorious B.I.G” for USA Network; “Happy!” for SYFY; “The Purge” for USA Network and SYFY; “All That Glitters” for Bravo; and “Impulse” for YouTube Red.
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