Long before George R.R. Martin was a world famous fantasy author, he was a huge comic book fan who even wrote letters to Marvel in the early years of the Fantastic Four. But Martin’s love of comics ran deep; he even went so far as to play a key role in founding the Wild Cards superhero universe that has spanned multiple authors across several anthologies and novels in its 30 year existence. And now, Wild Cards is making the leap to live-action TV.
On his official site, Martin announced that Universal Cable Productions has picked up the rights to adapt Wild Cards for “what we hope will be the first of several interlocking series,” executive produced by WC originator, Melinda M. Snodgrass. However, Martin will not directly participate in the Wild Cards adaptation because he has a development deal with HBO, and as he puts it: “I am writing The Winds of Winter, as I believe most of you will recall.” So don’t freak out, A Song of Ice and Fire fans! Martin added that “I hope you’re as excited as I am. Of course, Hollywood is Hollywood, and nothing is ever certain in development… but I think I hope I cross my fingers that the Wild Cards will be coming to your home screens in the next year or two.”
Snodgrass—who still co-edits the series alongside Martin—will executive produce the adaptation with Gregory Noveck, who previously attempted to bring Wild Cards to Syfy Films and Universal as a movie in 2011.
For the uninitiated, Wild Cards is set in an alternate universe in which an alien strain (known as the Wild Card virus) was released over New York City in 1946. And while 90% of the virus’ victims died, 9% were physically mutated and given the nicknames “Jokers” and 1% of the infected humans developed superpowers, which led them to be nicknamed “Aces.” Wild Cards actually began as a RPG that was run by Martin and played with his fellow science fiction writers before they decided to turn it into an anthology series. High Stakes, the newest Wild Cards anthology, will be released by Tor Books on August 23.
With a universe as expansive and chockablock with colorful characters, there’s still much to discover about what a Wild Cards TV series will look like. Martin did offer one hint, however: “Only one thing I can say for (almost) sure. You will be seeing Croyd Crenson, no matter shape the eventual show or shows ends up taking. It wouldn’t be Wild Cards without the Sleeper. So there it is.” In the novels, the Sleeper has one of the most unique abilities in that world—spoilers ahead!—every time he goes to sleep, Croyd Crenson wakes up physically transformed into a new man with new powers. He can even alternate between a powerful Ace and a hideously deformed Joker. Potentially, that could mean that several actors could portray the Sleeper, if his entire physical shape changes in this adaptation.
Which network would you like to see pick up Wild Cards? And which characters do you want to see in live-action? Unleash your thoughts in the comment section below!
Image: Tor Books