The second Justin Monjo scoop from If this morning (after this one) is that the writer is in the process of developing a new HBO series. The Beasts Of Valhalla is based on a series of novels by George C. Chesbro, and would star Peter Dinklage as private eye Dr Robert Frederickson, AKA Mongo The Magnificent.
Frederickson gets his nickname from his days as a circus acrobat. That's in his past as we're introduced to him, however, and he's since put himself through graduate school and become a professor of criminology at NYU. But he also has a private investigator's licence, so events regularly conspire to take him away from the lecture theatre. The books are set in the real world, but some fantastical elements bleed in: An Affair Of Sorcerors (which sounds like a George RR Martin title) involves underground New York cults of warlocks and tarot readers.
Monjo sees it as a "grounded sci-fi" series, and it's heading towards a pilot set in motion by HBO and Ben Stiller's Red Hour production company. "HBO and Red Hour think [Dinklage] is perfect for the part and are very excited about the project," says Monjo.
It's not the first time Dinklage has been connected with the dwarf detective: he was attached to a Mongo film project not long after The Station Agent in 2005, but the ironically named Greenlight Pictures went under before any filming could take place.
As with the Farscape story, the details here are sketchy, with the main question being whether Dinklage could - or would want to - juggle two annual ten-episode HBO series at the same time. Possible vague Game Of Thrones spoilers follow. The implication in If's story is that HBO are looking at The Beasts Of Valhalla as a post-Game Of Thrones gig for Dinklage after 2016.
But there seems to be some confusion - or a mistaken assumption - there regarding Dinklage's Game Of Thrones contract. He is currently signed up for six seasons, but that doesn't mean he won't be in Season 7. There's no narrative reason why he shouldn't be, so it seems likely that he'll simply be renewing his contract when it's up. Game Of Thrones certainly isn't ending at Season 6, and its showrunners envisage it going for at least 8. End spoilers!
Questionable timelines then, but a Mongo series with Dinklage on HBO is definitely a juicy prospect. Watch this space for more information. Chesbro's novels are mostly out of print, but easy enough to pick up online if you want to imagine your own version in the meantime.