David Cronenberg’s ‘Scanners’ Heads to HBO as a Series With ‘Black Mirror’ Writer, ‘Lovecraft Country’ Director (Exclusive)
William Bridges, who won an Emmy for co-writing the “USS Callister” episode of Black Mirror, is acting as writer and showrunner for the series, which is in development, with Yann Demange, who helmed the pilot for HBO’s Lovecraft Country, directing. Both will executive produce.
This project will be co-produced by HBO, Media Res Studio, and Wayward Films.
Scanners described a small group with telepathic, psychic and telekinetic abilities. One group of scanners, as these people were called, was led by Revok, a power-mad man played by Michael Ironside. He aims to take control of the world while a private security company recruits its own scanners in order to stop him, for its own, possibly unsavory reasons.
It was a Canadian production, and was part of a slow-moving wave in homegrown content that sought to compete with U.S. material. It was also the first mainstream success for Cronenberg, who went on to establish a horror, and then art house, career well into the 1980s and beyond.
The series is described as a thriller with visceral elements set in the world of Cronenberg’s film. It will be about two women who live on the margins of modern society and are pursued relentlessly by agents with unimaginable power. They must learn to work together to overthrow a vast conspiracy that wants to bring them down.
Cronenberg, who wrote the original movie, will serve as executive producer with Lindsey Springer and Michael Ellenberg of Media Res Studio, Meredith Duff, and Sarah Sullivan from Wayward Films.
Rene and Fanny–Laure Malo, Pierre David and Clark Peterson are additional executive producers.
Ellenberg’s Media Res has been creating Scanners since 2005. The company is well-known for taking the time to bake shows that generate buzz and acclaim. Media Res spent four years on Pachinko, before the Apple TV series became one of the most critically acclaimed dramas of 2022.. The company is also behind The Morning Show, now shooting its third season, and HBO’s Scenes From a Marriage, and is in post on climate change anthology Extrapolations.
Demange made his feature directorial debut with ’71, a drama set in Northern Ireland during the conflict known as “the Troubles” and then helmed crime drama White Boy Rick starring Matthew McConaughey. He was the executive producer and director of Lovecraft Country , which set the show’s layered pulpy tone and gory tone. The supernatural horror series only lasted one season, but during that run it tackled hot-button issues and garnered considerable acclaim, accumulating 18 Emmy nominations.
Known for working in character-based sci-fi genres, Bridges wrote two episodes of Black Mirror, the well-regarded 21st century echo of The Twilight Zone, as well as a season three episode of Stranger Things. With Ted Lasso s Brett Goldstein he created the sci-fi anthology series Soulmates , which aired on AMC.
WME, Grandview, and the U.K.’s Curtis Brown Group are Bridges’ reps. CAA, Goodman Genow, and the U.K.’s Independent Talent Group are Demange’s reps.