David Cronenberg‘s early 80s, head-exploding horror movie Scanners is set to be re-imagined as a series at HBO Max. The project has reportedly been in development for over five years, but the series is now on its way to actually seeing the light of day.
The original sci-fi horror film was set in a world filled with scanners — psychics with unusual telepathic and telekinetic powers. ConSec, a purveyor of weaponry and security systems, searches out scanners to use them for its own purposes, but a renegade scanner attempts to fight back and wage a war against the company.
However, this series sounds like it’s going to treat the scanners a little differently. Per the synopsis, it seems the scanners will solely be the antagonists, who are described as “relentless agents with unimaginable powers” who hunt down “two women living on the fringes of modern society.”
The women have to learn to work together to topple a vast conspiracy determined to bring them to heel. So it seems like the show will take Cronenberg’s basic idea and adapt it into something new. Which makes sense, 1981’s Scanners was only 103 minutes long anyway. But it also might mean a whole lot less Cronenbergian stuff too.
Several attempts have been made in the past to resurrect Scanners in some form, but none of them have come to fruition. This endeavor is being handled be Media Res, which has recently had some critical success in the form of Apple TV+ series Pachinko and another HBO project, Scenes From a Marriage.
William Bridges (Black Mirror, Stranger Things) will serve as writer and showrunner for the series, while Yann Demange (Lovecraft Country, White Boy Rick) will direct.
Despite the lack of Cronenberg actually being involved – which he never would be – that’s a pretty great duo to be at the helm. Now we wait and see how production handles casting.
Other upcoming HBO Max shows include crime drama miniseries Love and Death starring Elizabeth Olsen and Jesse Plemons, teen drama Degrassi, and Tig Notaro‘s comedy-drama film Am I OK?