Filmmaker Luc Besson has a long resume in the action and sci-fi realms, and his upcoming list of projects continues the trend. Besson will be executive producing the upcoming TV series Taken, a prequel based on his successful movie franchise starring Liam Neeson. His film work includes the ambitious sci-fi comic book adaptation Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, starring Dane DeHaan, Cara Delevingne, Clive Owen, and Rihanna; plus a potential sequel to his surprise hit Lucy.
TNT has been trying to rebrand their network, which was previously known best for Law & Order reruns and successful police drama The Closer. Their signature series morphed into another hit, Major Crimes, and the network continually expanded their offering of original shows. Besson wrote for and executive produced TNT’s small screen adaptation of The Transporter franchise, and is now putting together another pilot for the cable station.
According to Deadline, Besson is developing the sci-fi series Artificial Intelligence with Bill Wheeler and EuropaCorp TV USA. The story involves an AI that has escaped from the lab and begins carrying out “its own mysterious agenda.” Its creator then has to assemble a team of experts to deal with this dilemma.
While TNT has found success with new post-apocalyptic drama The Last Ship and serial detective series Murder in the First, their attempt at drawing in an audience with what TNT president Kevin Reilly called more “daring” programming hasn’t done well. Besson’s own Transporter series only lasted two seasons, and other recent short-lived TNT shows include Legends with Sean Bean, Agent X with Sharon Stone, Public Morals with Edward Burns, and Proof starring Jennifer Beals.
Casting well-known actors clearly isn’t enough to sell a show on TNT, and though poor writing and dubious filming choices were to blame on series like Legends, the network has also had trouble expanding on its currently more conservatively-minded audience. It’s risky to try a sci-fi show on this procedural-loving crowd, though the framework of a team of experts hunting down a fugitive might make this an easier sell than a more ambiguously-plotted series. If Besson and his partners can create an intriguing group of characters, good reviews and word of mouth could draw in a bigger audience. Hopefully Artificial Intelligence is just a working title, because a flashier moniker could also help lure in new viewers.
Screen Rant will keep you updated on any information related to the Artificial Intelligence television series.