George R.R. Martin’s Wild Cards Gets TV DealPhoto by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty TV News George R.R. Martin
A Song of Ice and Fire author George R.R. Martin isn’t just the creator of Game of Thrones’ Seven Kingdoms. He is also the mind behind the comic book-esque anthology series Wild Cards, which is authored by a multitude of writers and edited by Martin. Martin revealed on his blog this weekend that the TV rights to Wild Cards have been acquired by Universal Cable Productions, a division of NBCUniversal.
Wild Cards tells a myriad of stories from within a post-World War II world in which a virus has spread over the earth, mutating people into … well, super heroes and villains.
The shared world of the Wild Cards diverged from our own on September 15, 1946 when an alien virus was released in the skies over Manhattan, and spread across an unsuspecting Earth. Of those infected, 90 percent died horribly, drawing the black queen, 9 percent were twisted and deformed into jokers, while a lucky one percent became blessed with extraordinary and unpredictable powers and became aces. The world was never the same.
Martin compared the universe of Wild Cards to those of comic giants D.C. and Marvel, but “somewhat grittier, and considerably more realistic and more consistent.” This would be a bold statement from Martin if half of America wasn’t already hanging on every word pertaining to the Game of Thrones universe. “There are thousands of stories to be told in the world of the Wild Cards,” continues Martin, “and Gregory [Noveck] and Melinda [M. Snodgrass] and UCP hope to be able to tell many of them.”
First published in 1986, 22 volumes of Wild Cards have been written to date, with a 23rd due out soon, and three more currently in development. There have also been graphic novels, comic books and role-playing games to splinter off of the series.
The TV adaptation is still in the very early stages of development, but we know that Martin won’t have much of a hand in it, as he is under an exclusive contract with HBO, and, we can only hope, hard at work on a little book called The Winds of Winter.
The aforementioned Snodgrass (Star Trek: The Next Generation) and Noveck (RED) will be executive producing the Wild Cards adaptation. A network hasn’t been confirmed for the show, but it could appear on any which have previously worked with UCP, including USA, SyFY, Bravo and streaming platforms like Hulu.