Game of Thrones author George RR Martin could soon have another sprawling fantasy world on television. Variety has confirmed that Universal Cable Productions has acquired the rights to develop Martin’s anthology series Wild Cards, after the author announced the deal on his personal blog.
Due to Martin’s exclusive development agreement with HBO, the author will not be working on the project, with Martin’s assistant editors Melinda Snodgrass — whose television credits include Star Trek: The Next Generation, The Outer Limits and Reasonable Doubts — and Gregory Noveck executive producing instead.
“The shared world of the Wild Cards diverged from our own on September 15, 1946 when an alien virus was released in the skies over Manhattan, and spread across an unsuspecting Earth,” said Martin. “Of those infected, 90% died horribly, drawing the black queen, 9% were twisted and deformed into jokers, while a lucky 1% became blessed with extraordinary and unpredictable powers and became aces. The world was never the same.”
Martin describes the project as a series of interlocking books, graphic novels, and games. “But, most of all it is a universe, as large and diverse and exciting as the comic book universes of Marvel and DC (though somewhat grittier, and considerably more realistic and more consistent), with an enormous cast of characters both major and minor,” he added.
The first volume in the series was published in 1986, with 22 volumes released to date. Numerous authors have contributed to the series over the years, with dozens of characters and hundreds of storylines available for adaptation.