Writer and director Alex Garland is currently making the rounds for his new feature film Annihilation, but he’s already sharing some details about Devs, the upcoming sci-fi series that’s been green-lit by FX. Ever since he made his directorial debut with the 2015 film Ex Machina, his follow-up, an adaptation of the novel of the same name by Jeff VanderMeer — the first in the author’s ‘Southern Reach Trilogy’— further demonstrated Garland’s interest in thought-provoking science fiction stories, which it seems he’ll next bring to television.
News about Devs broke recently, but details about the project were relatively scarce. The idea of Garland bringing his brand of hard, grounded sci-fi to FX was definitely enough to garner plenty of attention, and though he only has two directorial efforts to his name, those have earned considerable praise and Garland’s resume as a novelist, screenwriter, and producer is also impressive enough that whatever his TV project was, it was sure to pique the interest of genre fans (and fans of quality television) everywhere.
In a recent interview with Collider, however, Garland delivered a few details about the project. From what he shared, it sounds as though Devs will be very much in the same vein as his most recent films, possibly teasing some heady discussions surrounding humankind’s relationship with technology and just how quickly that can change. Garland said:
“It’s about a particular aspect of technology at the moment which is to do with very, very big data and very powerful processing power, and what can happen when you put those two things together. It’s set in San Francisco, a sort of tech story.”
Garland also revealed that the story is planned as a “self-contained” eight-episode season, though, “If [FX] want to carry it on, I guess they could.” That in and of itself is an interesting proposition, as it sounds like Devs might be a big enough concept that the right team could spin another season out of the initial story. Whether or not that would include Garland is perhaps as big a question as that of another season coming about.
More interesting than the prospective future of Devs is what Garland actually has planned for the series, which, from his admittedly vague description seems as though it might hew closer to what he was saying with regard to technology and humans with his first film. What “very, very big data” means in this particular case is anyone’s guess at the moment, but considering the lofty ideas he’s played with in his last two projects, it stands to reason that it will be compelling stuff.