Science fiction writer John Scalzi has become something of a content factory for Hollywood. Or maybe less a factory, more a workshop in the wilds of Ohio. But with his novel Old Man's War already in development by Wolfgang Petersen, his Star Trek satire Redshirts has been optioned as a TV show by US network FX.
The channel, home to the likes of Justified, Sons Of Anarchy and American Horror Story, has Office veteran director Ken Kwapis and producer Jon Shestack developing the show based on Scalzi’s book.
Redshirts is set in the 25th century, and follows a group of new recruits on the Starship Intrepid. While they’re initially delighted by their high profile assignment, they begin to realise that crewmembers are dying at an alarming rate. Digging into the deaths, they learn that a Trek-style science fiction show from our century is intruding into their reality and altering destinies via its plotlines.
“If Jorge Luis Borges had been a staff writer on the original Star Trek, he would no doubt have concocted a story like Redshirts,” Kwapis says in a statement picked up by Deadline.
He, Shestack and fellow producer Alexandra Beattie will start work to bring the story to FX as a limited series, meeting writers and soliciting Scalzi’s input as consultant. The book, which won the Hugo award, is a clever, funny spin of Trek tropes, and should make for an entertaining series – though first it has to make it through the danger-strewn void of development.