They’re justified and they’re ancient and they like to roam the land. And now they’re making one of the most influential trilogies of all time into a TV series. Robert Anton Wilson and Robert Shea’s The Illuminatus! Trilogy is to be adapted by the director of Crank and showrunner of Happy, Brian Taylor, production company Hivemind, co-founded by Bleeding Cool favourite, and formerly of Valiant Comics, Dinesh Shamdasani, and European production company Kallisti. The book was incredibly influential, not just amongst conspiracy theories of the Illuminati, but also a ground zero for the likes of Alan Moore, Umberto Eco, Dave Sim, Ken Campbell, Karl Koch, Chris Carter, John Carpenter, Neil Gaiman, George Carlin, Damon Lindelof, Philip K Dick, Grant Morrison and, well, The KLF.
When the offices of a Manhattan news publisher are bombed, anti-authority reporter George Dorn begins to suspect that the disturbing conspiracy his editor has spent months investigating is not only real, it might be the key to unlocking all of history’s greatest unanswered mysteries. As George sets out to find his mentor and uncover the truth about an all-seeing secret society that seems to unify every insane, inane, and outlandish conspiracy theory ever told – from the JFK assassination, celebrity cabals and lost continents to UFOs, ancient gods and the truth about the New World Order – he finds himself drawn deeper into a war between two shadowy groups. On one side stand the Discordians, a clandestine band of chaos-loving guerrilla fighters led by the enigmatic modern-day pirate Hagbard Celine; and on the other, the Illuminati – elite authoritarians who secretly manipulate world events, ever expanding their wealth, influence, and physical power in a plot to escape the limitations of human existence.
Illuminatus! as the show will be called, will be executive produced by Dinesh Shamdasani and Hunter Gorinson for Hivemind, and Iris McPherson and Kirstin Winkler for Kallisti. Taylor will serve as executive producer and showrunner.
“The series’ staggering influence has only continued to grow with each passing year not just because it explores and indulges the most compelling depths of America’s conspiratorial imagination, but because it also gives us the tools and knowledge to understand it. If there was ever a series primed for 21st century television, it’s Illuminatus!” said fellow former Valiant Comics employee, Hunter Gorinson, Hivemind’s VP of Brand & Content Strategy.