As if taking on the complexities of artificial intelligence, weaving a multiple-narrative story jumping through timelines and somehow making it good for mass audiences isn’t difficult enough, Westworld co-creators Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy are now tackling alternate futures and videogame alternate reality in the tech drama The Peripheral. According to Deadline, Amazon has picked up the project with a possible series option, putting The Peripheral in script development and getting negotiations with Nolan and Joy underway.
The script is originally written by A Simple Plan Oscar-nominated writer Scott B. Smith, based on William Gibson’s novel, with veteran TV director Vincenzo Natali directing. Natali previously helmed two episodes of Westworld. He will also serve as executive producer on the project alongside Smith, Westworld co-executive producer Athena Wickham, Nolan and Joy.
The Peripheral is a story set on two distinct timelines. The first follows Flynn Fisher and her brother Burton, who live in a sort of Winter’s Bone-type America defined by drug dealing and value stores, where Flynn takes a job working inside a videogame-esque virtual world that resembles an empty, technologically advanced London. Technology begins to subtly alter society, as Flynn cannot tell if the events she witnesses are real or a manifestation of the game. In the second time period, many years after the first, publicist Wilf Netherton lives in a seemingly empty London after a near-cataclysmic event has annihilated the world’s population, leaving only a sovereign class of gangsters, performance artists and celebrity-minded publicists. Doesn’t that future just sound awful? GQ describes the novel as “a noirish murder mystery wearing a cyberpunk leather jacket and, after an uncharacteristically dense first one hundred pages, a super enjoyable read.”
There’s no news on possible The Peripheral casting options as of yet. The series is still in the early stages of development, so it will likely be a while before we get to see it. However, in the mean time, we have Westworld season two to look forward to. The new season debuts Sunday, April 22—be sure to check out the trailer here.