The author on Saturday revealed that Universal Cable Productions has optioned his best-selling superhero anthology series Wild Cards. Per Martin, the series of books begins in the year 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, nine 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.”
With the Song of Ice and Fire scribe’s development deal being exclusive to HBO, Martin will not have any direct involvement in adapting the books for TV. Instead, assistant editor Melinda M. Snodgrass, whose TV writing credits include Star Trek: The Next Generation, Outer Limits and Profiler, will spearhead the project with Gregory Noveck (Red) and serve as an executive producer.
To date, 22 Wild Cards volumes have been published since 1987, with each release comprised of short stories by various authors that tie into the overall narrative. The universe, as Martin describes it, is “as large and diverse and exciting as the comic book universes of Marvel and DC (though somewhat grittier, and considerably more realistic and more consistent).” (#Burn!) A 23rd volume, High Stakes, is scheduled for release later this month.
Are you a fan of the Wild Cards universe? Excited to see which characters and short stories make their way into any hypothetical TV adaptation? Sound off below.