Last year, novelist Seth Grahame-Smith saw his career blossom onto the big screen. The burgeoning screenwriter was responsible for a pair of prospective summer blockbusters in Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter – based on his own novel – and Tim Burton’s Dark Shadows. However, both films had lackluster box office takes and similarly poor reviews.
Still, the disappointments haven’t stopped Grahame-Smith from moving on to other projects in the meantime. He reportedly did some revisions of the script for director Josh Trank’s Fantastic Four reboot, and he is also attached to the long-rumored Beetlejuice 2. Now it looks like the writer is adding a TV series to his schedule.
According to Deadline, NBC has ordered a pilot for Paradise, a new drama from Grahame-Smith and producer Greg Berlanti (Arrow). Set in the late 21st century, the series takes place in Las Vegas, which has been converted into Paradise – the world’s largest maximum-security prison – and follows a doctor wrongly convicted of murder as he attempts to escape.
The concept does sound an awfully lot like a mashup of Fox’s Prison Break and the cult classic film Escape from New York, which also saw a major metropolitan area transformed into a futuristic prison. Like Prison Break, Paradise could have trouble extending the core premise of a planned prison escape into enough story material to mine over the course of several seasons, should the show land with viewers. However, series like Oz and the current Netflix original series Orange Is the New Black have proven that shows set in prison can be compelling for viewers, provided they bring the right approach.
Paradise is just the latest series in a continuing trend of futuristic shows on their way to television, with recent news that CBS has placed a series order for the Steven Spielberg produced Extant. Additionally, Berlanti is currently on a hot streak with the success of Arrow, a Flash spin-off in development and plans to direct Epsilon from Zombieland writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick. Perhaps Paradise could build off its premise and the growing popularity of both Berlanti and Grahame-Smith to become an unexpected success.
Do you think Paradise will prove to be a must-see new series, or has the concept of a prison-set drama lost its novelty? Sound off in the comments section below.
Stay tuned to Screen Rant for the latest updates on Paradise.