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George R.R. Martin's "Wild Cards" gets film adaptation

10.28.2011

Those of you who are currently obsessed with the "Song of Ice and Fire" series (I'm one of them) know that George R.R. Martin has done more than just create one of the very best fantasy series of all time... "A Feast of Crows" aside. After the incredible success of HBO's "A Game Of Thrones", is it any surprise that producers are also digging through his other work?

Martin's also a very prolific editor, and one of his other most popular (and certainly longest) works is the "Wild Cards" series, a superhero anthology originally released in 1987 that's spanned 21 books, countless comics and a role playing game. It's caught the eye of Syfy Films, a new joint venture between Syfy and Universal Pictures, which just optioned the film rights. 

While Martin was the co-creator, editor and writer for the series, many different authors have contributed to it over the decades, creating a massive world unlike any other series. Here's the synopsis from Martin-

"Wild Cards" is a shared world anthology series, set in a universe where an alien experiment unleashed a deadly virus on the human race in 1946. The virus kills nine of every ten victims, and twists and deforms most of those who survive (the jokers)… but one in every hundred gets lucky, and is gifted with the proverbial ‘powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal men’ (the aces). Superpowers, in other words. Edited by George R.R. Martin (that’s me) and written by a consortium of twenty-odd (some very odd) wonderfully inventive and talented science fiction and fantasy authors, the "Wild Cards" series made its debut in 1987 with a book titled, appropriately, 'Wild Cards".

"One of the things we have going is the sense of history," [Martin] says. "The comics in the mainstream are doing retcons [retroactive continuity] all the time. [Heroes] get married, then one day, the publisher changes his mind, and then they're no longer married. To my mind, it's very frustrating. [Our stories] are in real time. It's a world that is changing in parallel to our own."

Melinda Snodgrass, co-creator and writer for "Wild Cards", has been hired to write the screenplay for the project. Martin and Snodgrass will executive produce as well- they just have to figure out which story to tell.

"This is, beyond Marvel and DC, really the only universe where you have fully realized, fully integrated characters that have been built and developed over the course of 25 years," says Gregory Noveck, Syfy Films' senior vp production who joined the division in May and who targeted the books for acquisition. "The trick for us is to find what's the best movie."

One character Martin wants them to feature is The Sleeper, a character who falls into deep, hibernation-like sleeps only to emerge with a new face and ability. This isn't the first time the series has been optioned before but certainly Universal and Syfy will want to get this going as soon as possible considering how hot Martin is right now. Especially since there's a chance that if the first film is successful they can expand it to more movies or a possible tv series.

You can find a re-release of the first book in stores right now, with the second one getting re-released by the end of the year. You can find a sample of the latest book "Wild Cards XXI: Fort Freak" on Martin's official site and a handy online guide to the series right here.

Source: THR

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