David Farr, who wrote The Night Manager and Hanna, is developing a TV adaptation of The Midwich Cuckoos, John Wyndham’s sci-fi novel that served as the basis for Village of the Damned, for European broadcaster Sky, Deadline reported today. Farr will reportedly turn the project into an eight-part series for the Comcast-owned broadcaster. Unlike both the 1960 and 1995 feature film adaptations, it does not appear that the movie will be renamed Village of the Damned. The story centers on an English village, where everyone in town falls unconscious, then wakes up hours later without explanation. Months later, the women of the community become pregnant with alien children.
The 1960 original was adapted by MGM and hewed fairly close to the book. That one earned a 1964 sequel, Children of the Damned. A 1995 remake took place in the United States rather than the UK and starred Christopher Reeve and Kirstie Alley.
Here's a slightly more detailed synopsis: "One day the peaceful village of Midwich is cast into a mysterious sleep for several hours, but with no obvious consequences, until soon all the women of child-bearing age turn out to be pregnant. Their children are all born at the same time, and grow quickly into very spooky young people, with strange white-blonde hair and eerie eyes."
Similar concepts have obviously been used in a lot of pop culture, with the idea of "special" kids created by a shared event popping up in properties like Rising Stars, a beloved Image Comics series. The movie has also inspired a radio drama through the BBC and international/localized film adaptations in places like Thailand in the years since its first release.
Besides The Night Manager and both the film and TV versions of Hanna, audiences might remember Farr for writing TV shows like Troy: Fall of a City and Spooks. He also wrote and directed The Ones Below, which starred The Walking Dead's David Morrissey.
Besides The Midwich Cuckoos, Wyndham is famous for writing The Day Of The Triffids. His career in science fiction began in 1931 and lasted until his death in 1969, meaning that he got to see the first film but not to realize the impact Midwich would have on popular culture as it continued on as a recognizable property. In 2015, an alley in Hampstead that appears in The Day of the Triffids was renamed Triffid Alley as a memorial to Wyndham.
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