Amazon making Ringworld, Snow Crash and Lazarus One TV series

Amazon is dramatically ramping up its production for next year, moving forward with three new high-concept series (ringworld, Snow Crash and Lazarus One). These new efforts represent a significant production investment from the studio, which is currently in preproduction, production or post on 67 TV series and 20 movies around the world.

The hunger for content and the competition from Netflix, Amazon, HBO and others for shows should see many more classic Science Fiction making it to TV and movies.

• “Ringworld,” a co-production with MGM, is based on Larry Niven’s sci-fi book series from the 70’s. It tells the story of Louis Gridley Wu, a bored man celebrating his 200th birthday in a technologically-advanced, future Earth. Upon being offered one of the open positions on a voyage, Louis joins a young woman and two aliens to explore Ringworld, the remote artificial ring beyond Known Space.

Known Space is the fictional setting of about a dozen science fiction novels and several collections of short stories written by Larry Niven. It has also become a shared universe in the spin-off Man-Kzin Wars anthologies.

This series should definitely have Protectors and Kzinti.

• “Snow Crash,” which is based on Neal Stephenson’s cult novel, is a one-hour science fiction drama set in futuristic America. In reality, Hiro Protagonist delivers pizza for Uncle Enzo’s CosoNostra Pizza Inc., but in the Metaverse he’s a warrior prince. Plunging headlong into the enigma of a new computer virus that’s striking down hackers everywhere, he races along the neon-lit streets on a search-and-destroy mission for the shadowy virtual villain.

• “Lazarus,” based on a comic book by Greg Rucka (“Marvel’s Jessica Jones”), is set in an alternative near future, where the world has been divided among 16 rival families, who run their territories in a feudal system. Each family has allies and enemies among the other families. To crush uprisings and fight wars, most families have a Lazarus: a one-person kill squad.

Rucka serves as writer and executive producer on “Lazarus,” along with Michael Lark (“Captain America: The Winter Soldier”) and Angela Cheng Caplan.

Also in production is “Carnival Row,” a fantasy noir series which stars Orlando Bloom and Cara Delevigne and produced by Rene Echevarria, which starts shooting in Prague this week.

Amazon’s untitled David O. Russell project (Price’s memo called the scripts “great”) — with Julianne Moore and Robert De Niro — starts shooting next year. He also praised Paul Attanasio’s “Tong Wars” scripts for Wong Kar-Wai as “truly fantastic.”

There seems to be a serious project to finally bring Isaac Asimov’s Foundation series to TV or movies.

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