In what has been described as a competitive situation that I hope didn’t involve any righteous migraines or exploding skulls, David Cronenberg‘s cult classic 1981 science fiction thriller Scanners is being developed as a television series.
Once the dust settled from a bidding war involving a number of film and television studios like Lionsgate, Skydance and Paramount, Michael Ellenberg’s Media Res and Bron Studios had acquired the rights with a winning overall bid. Ellenberg and Bron Studios plan to develop the television series with a prominent filmmaker and showrunner attached before shopping it to various media services.
Written and directed by Cronenberg, Scanners introduces us to “scanners,” people with intense and unusual telepathic and telekinetic powers. Weapons and security firm ConSec seeks out these “scanners” for its own goals; but renegade “scanner” Darryl Revok (Michael Ironside) has his own plans and wages psychic war against ConSec — with only fellow “scanner” Cameron Vale (Stephen Lack) standing in his way.
The rights to Scanners were held by The Weinstein Co.’s Dimension Films for almost 10 years before becoming recently available. which tried developing the title as a movie and then a TV series, with Rene Malo (Decline of the American Empire), Clark Peterson (Monster) and Pierre David attached as producers for both incarnations, none of which were developed.
Ellenberg has a number of projects lined up, including: Untitled Morning Show Project, starring Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston; and event series Scenes from a Marriage, based on Ingmar Bergman’s classic look at a marriage in crisis with playwright Amy Herzog co-writing and executive producing. Ellenberg is also producing the character-based sci-fi drama feature Untitled Karl Gajdusek Project for 20th Century Fox.
Ellenberg will serve as executive producer alongside Bron’s Aaron L. Gilbert and Danielle Reardon; as well as Peterson and David (who was an executive producer on the original Scanners). Laurem Productions’ Malo and Fanny-Laure Malo will also executive produce.