With all the Social Network Oscar-night excitement, it rather slipped our minds that Trent Reznor was planning a TV mini-series based on his Nine Inch Nails album Year Zero. But the project has just reared its head again, with Fight Club's adaptor Jim Uhls being brought in to pen the screenplay.
Last autumn Reznor was merely at the "It'd be cool if it happened" stage, but clearly things have been moving quietly forward in the meantime, since Year Zero is now officially set up as a co-production between HBO and the BBC.
The 2007 concept album is a satire on the American political system, describing a dystopian state heading towards the end of the world and "the erosion of freedom". The story, about a "Bureau of Morality" forming in the wake of a nuclear war between America and Iran, takes place in 2022, the same year as Soylent Green. Reznor says it's "an essay about where the world might be if we continue down this path..."
Last we heard, Reznor was knocking script drafts back and forth with his co-conspirators Daniel Knauf (creator of Carnivale), Kevin Kelly Brown (Roswell), and Lawrence Bender (Pulp Fiction). It's not clear whether Uhls will be script-doctoring, starting from scratch, writing the whole thing or just contributing individual episodes. But Reznor's initial plan was for Year Zero to last two years, and we now seem to be talking about a mini-series. Maybe Uhls' job is to condense the material.
Reznor is currently scoring David Fincher's The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, which is out on December 26. We can't imagine the Uhls' Fincher connection is a coincidence. There's no start date for Year Zero yet, so it may still be a while before we see Reznor's violence in hi-def ultra realism...