Spike is bringing Kim Stanley Robinson’s award-winning “Mars Trilogy” to television with Skydance Television serving as the studio on the original one-hour scripted series, titled “Red Mars.”
The books, “Red Mars,” “Green Mars,” and “Blue Mars,” chronicles mankind’s colonization and transformation of the red planet, have been adapted in 21 languages and are regarded as the best novels ever written on the subject.
“Red Mars” will be Executive Produced and written by J. Michael Straczynski whose works include “Sense8,” “Babylon Five” and “Changeling.” The straight-to-series project will be Executive Produced by Emmy®-Award winner Vince Gerardis (“Game of Thrones, “Flash Forward”) who brought the project to Spike and has shepherded development, along with Skydance’s David Ellison, Dana Goldberg and Marcy Ross (Skydance’s 2015 feature films are “Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation” and “Terminator Genisys” and current television series include “Grace and Frankie” and “Manhattan”).
“The heart and soul of Red Mars is about humanity,” said Sharon Levy, Executive Vice President, Original Series, Spike. “This group of strangers must find a way to live together and survive under the most daunting conditions mankind has ever faced to become the first living generation of Martians. They will be each other’s greatest source of strength – and if they can’t coexist- the greatest reason for failure.”
“We are thrilled to join forces with Spike to bring Kim Stanley Robinson’s dynamic world of the Mars trilogy to television audiences for the first time ever, particularly in the brilliant creative voice of science fiction legend J. Michael Straczynski,” added Marcy Ross, President of Skydance Television.
“The Mars Trilogy” won several awards including the prestigious Nebula® and Hugo® Awards. Robinson, a New York Times best-selling author, will consult on the series. “I look forward to being a part of bringing my long time client’s literary achievement to the screen,” said Gerardis. “Its themes are important to the future we are creating.”
Spike has ordered 10 one-hour episodes of “Red Mars,” the most ambitious project in network history. Spike’s first scripted original dramatic series in nine years will go into production next summer and will debut on Spike in January 2017. This past July, Spike premiered “Tut,” its first original scripted miniseries in almost a decade to strong ratings, averaging 2.2 million viewers over three nights.
“Red Mars” follows the first settlers charged with terraforming a mysterious planet, all of whom have competed to be a part of the mission. The series delves into the lives of these relative strangers, cut off from everything they’ve ever known and living in the harshest environment imaginable. Over time, viewers will witness the mind-blowing evolution of humans and technology as they learn to adapt in their inhospitable new home.
Levy, Ted Gold, Senior Vice President, Scripted Original Series, Justin Lacob, Vice President, Original Series, and Lauren Ruggiero, Senior Director, Scripted Programming will oversee the project for Spike. Vlad Wolynetz will serve as Co-Executive Producer.
Skydance Media’s rapidly growing television division launched in May of 2013. The Company’s first original series, the Emmy-award winning Manhattan, has been met with great critical acclaim and airs on WGN America and Hulu. Season two launched on October 13, 2015. Skydance’s second critically acclaimed show, the Emmy-nominated Grace and Frankie, stars Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin in the title roles and streams on Netflix. Season two debuts in 2016.
“Red Mars” is produced in association with Straczynski’s Studio JMS, a multi-platform independent studio generating content for film, TV and comics. Studio JMS is also producing “Sense8” for Netflix and publishes/owns Joe’s Comics.