Michael Crichton is considered a seminal author in the world of science fiction, not only due to his novels offering audiences compelling stories, but also due to those stories being adapted into equally compelling movies and TV series, with The Hollywood Reporter confirming that his novel Sphere is going to be adapted into a TV series for HBO. Interestingly, the new project comes from creatives behind HBO's Westworld, as executive producer Denise Thé will serve as the showrunner and executive producer alongside Lisa Joy and Jonathan Nolan and Team Downey also serving as producers, with that HBO series being an adaptation of the book of the same name written by Crichton.
The Hollywood Reporter claims the new series will "plunge viewers 1,000 feet into the ocean, where a group of scientists confronts the surreal, beautiful, and deadly mysteries of the universe, only to find the people closest to us may prove to be the most alien."
Back in 1993, audiences were given an adaptation of Crichton's novel Jurassic Park from director Steven Spielberg, which is arguably one of the most famous sci-fi films of all time. Given that success, studios began looking to other entries into Crichton's career in hopes of recreating that success, with 1995's Congo failing to capture the public's attention as effectively as Jurassic Park.
In 1997, however, Spielberg returned to the franchise he helped launch with the sequel The Lost World: Jurassic Park, which was also based on Crichton's novel sequel, which was a major financial success. The Sphere novel previously earned an adaptation back in 1998 with a feature film starring Dustin Hoffman, Sharon Stone, and Samuel L. Jackson. Sadly, that film wasn't received all that positively, as it sits at only 11% positive reviews on aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes. The film didn't fare much better financially, only earning $37 million worldwide.
The nature of the premise and how an otherworldly sphere is able to manifest someone's worst fears into their reality will surely bring with it a number of unexpected reveals and psychological tension that audiences have witnessed in Westworld, with a long-form narrative heightening that tension in ways that a feature film couldn't.
Stay tuned for details on the Sphere TV series.