Madman filmmaker Gore Verbinski, the devious devil behind the first three Pirates of the Caribbean movies and 2011's Rango, hasn't had a movie out since 2016's A Cure for Wellness and he could be making his return with a George R. R. Martin adaptation for Netflix. Speaking in an interview with Collider, the Academy Award winner revealed to the outlet: "One of the screenplays is based on a George R.R. Martin short story called Sandkings, which is this brilliant little twisted short story that I love. And I'm working with a great writer, Dennis Kelly, who wrote the original [Utopia]... The British original series is brilliant. And Dennis is doing the adaptation, so I'm kind of excited about that."
The outlet reports that John Baldecchi will produce through his Digital Riot Media banner, having previously collaborated with Verbinski on The Mexican. Originally published in 1979, Sandkings tells the story of a socialite on an alien world that has an interest in exotic animals. This leads him to learning about, and purchasing, what are called Sandkings, insect-like creatures with a queen figure and their own distinct colors for each colony. Each of the colonies will engage in wars with each other as entertainment for their host, but a sinister secret about their growth leads to a shocking conclusion.
Martin was awarded both the Hugo and the Nebula awards for the novella, with it later being adapted into an episode of 1990's version of The Outer Limits. Originally the author intended for the story to be the start of a series but that never came to pass though on his "Not a Blog" website he previously called Sandkings " the most successful thing I ever wrote until I began A GAME OF THRONES."
After the runaway success of Game of Thrones on HBO, Martin's writing has found new life in Hollywood with adaptations and reboots being announced with the same ferocity as Stephen King's work. Last week brought word that Martin's In the Lost Lands short story is being turned into a feature film from director Paul W.S. Anderson and starring Milla Jovovich and Dave Bautista.
In addition HBO is doubling down on Thrones and the A Song of Ice and Fire franchise as a whole, with production already underway on the prequel series House of the Dragon, plus an adaptation of the "Dunk & Egg" novellas, and a potential animated series.