USA Network has given a straight-to-series order to Brave New World, based on the all-time classic cautionary sci-fi novel by Aldous Huxley. Efforts to bring the Huxley novel to the screen date back to 2009 when Ridley Scott was originally attached to direct a film adaptation with Leonardo DiCaprio possibly to star. In 2015, Steven Spielberg’s Amblin TV got involved, with a planned series adaptation set for Syfy.
Published in 1932, Huxley’s Brave New World concerns a futuristic dystopia where genetically-perfect humans sit atop a rigid social hierarchy based on intelligence. The order is challenged when a lone outsider from a group of non-genetically-enhanced “savages” is introduced to the society and becomes a celebrity. The book is now regarded as one of the classics of 20th century speculative literature, along with George Orwell’s 1984, Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 and William Gibson’s Neuromancer, just to name a few. The story has influenced many films across the decades, notably THX 1138, Logan's Run, Blade Runner and even the animated film WALL-E.
As reported by Deadline, Brave New World will now make its way to the small screen on USA, as the network has given a straight-to-series order to the project from Universal Content Productions and Amblin. The adaptation was penned by David Wiener (Homecoming), together with Grant Morrison and Brian Taylor (Happy!).
Though Brave New World stands as one of the most famous sci-fi novels of all-time, and is still a staple of high school reading lists everywhere, there has never been a major film adaptation of the book. Two TV movie adaptations have been produced, one in 1980 and another in 1998. The book was adapted as a radio play back in 1955, with Huxley himself serving as narrator and music by the legendary film composer Bernard Herrmann. A stage version was produced in the UK in 2015.
USA of course has already produced one notable dystopian series in Mr. Robot, starring Rami Malek as a hacker with a split personality who unleashes economic chaos with one of his attacks. The plot line of Brave New World is itself classically dystopian, with its portrayal of a world where the social order has become rigidly fixed, but outside forces arrive to challenge that order. Only recently, Netflix released the series Altered Carbon, whose own storyline is very reminiscent of the one created by Huxley way back in 1932. Indeed, the entire genre of dystopian fiction, in literature and on film, owes a massive debt to Huxley for his seminal work in the form.