Attack The Block and The Kid Who Would Be King director Joe Cornish is heading to HBO Max. The director has set up a TV adaptation of Neal Stephenson‘s 1992 sci-fi novel, Snow Crash. Cornish will work alongside alongside Michael Bacall, who co-wrote the 2012 21 Jump Street reboot, and HBO has already put the adaptation into early development.
The novel revolves around hero/protagonist… Hiro Protagonist (yup), who delivers pizza for Uncle Enzo’s CosoNostra Pizza Inc. in real life, but in the Metaverse, he’s a warrior prince.
Plunging headlong into the enigma of a new computer virus that’s striking down hackers everywhere, he races along the neon-lit streets on a search-and-destroy mission for the shadowy virtual villain threatening to bring about an “infocalypse”.
That synopsis certainly sounds similar to Ready Player One, which isn’t surprising considering the popularity of that novel. And considering the addition of the successful film, it’s also no surprise that HBO sees potential value in a Ready Player One-esque TV series. Watching all this play out in longform storytelling rather than having to cram all the information into 2 hours could be very beneficial.
This is far from the only novel-to-TV adaptation HBO Max has in the works. TV versions of Alissa Nutting‘s Made For Love, Emily St. John Mandel‘s Station Eleven, Chimamanda Ngoze Adichie‘s Americanah, Jake Adelstein‘s Tokyo Vice and Alice Hoffman‘s The Rules Of Magic are just a few more the streaming service has in development.
Novel adaptations seem to be a key area of creative investment for the company, perhaps as a way to differentiate themselves from their competitors while retaining their aura of prestige television. We’ll see how well this strategy pays off when HBO Max launches in early 2020.