In some mind blowing news for horror fans, David Cronenberg's cult 1981 horror movie Scanners is in the works as a television series for HBO. The Hollywood Reporter brings word of the show, revealing that Emmy-winning Black Mirror writer William Bridges is set to pen and showrun the new series, based on Cronenberg's movie. Yann Demange, who directed HBO's Lovecraft Country, is also set to helm the series. For those unaware, Cronenberg's film told the story of "Scanners," a group of people with psychic powers that have a range of abilities. The film is best known for the landmark scene where Michael Ironside's character explodes someone's head with his powers.
According to the trade, the Scanners TV show is being called "a visceral thriller set in the mind-bending world of Cronenberg's film." A description of its plot adds that it will "focus on two women living on the fringes of modern society who are pursued by relentless agents with unimaginable powers and thus must learn to work together to topple a vast conspiracy determined to bring them to heel." Cronenberg is set to executive produce the series.
Media Res is one of the production companies behind the series and have been developing the property for television for over five years now. The studio has made headlines in recent years for two of their other streaming titles, Apple TV+ originals The Morning Show and Pachinko, which also spent many years in development before it was finally released.
Though not a runaway success immediately upon release, Scanners would develop a cult following thanks to its gore effects by make-up artist Dick Smith, four years before he would win his first Academy Award. The film would be followed by two sequels and then two spinoff movies (Scanner Cop and Scanner Cop II). Attempts to revive it in recent years with either a rebooted movie or a TV series have been talked about with frequency in the press with this HBO series the closest that any have come to getting off the ground.
Scanners becoming a TV series marks just the latest Cronenberg movie to make the leap to the small screen with Amazon Prime Video previously handing out a series order to an adaptation of Dead Ringers. Rachel Weisz is set to star in the show but updates have been few and far between since 2020.