Variety is reporting that executive producer and writer on the premium cabler’s other major Michael Crichton adaptation, Westworld‘s Denise Thé is developing a series adaptation of the author’s 1987 novel Sphere for HBO,
With Thé at the helm as showrunner, writer and executive producer, the series will adapt the story of a group of scientists as they head one thousand feet below into the ocean and confront the surreal, beautiful and deadly mysteries of the universe, only to find those closest to us may also be the most alien.
The property was first adapted for screen with the 1998 film of the same name led by Dustin Hoffman (The Meyerowtiz Stories), Samuel L. Jackson (The Hitman’s Bodyguard) and Sharon Stone (Ratched) and directed by Barry Levinson (Good Morning, Vietnam), which proved to be a critical and commercial disaster, grossing just over $73 million on its estimated $73-80 million budget.
The new adaptation will be produced by Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy’s Kilter Film alongside Robert Downey Jr. and Susan Downey’s Team Downey in association with Warner Bros. Television, while Nolan, Joy, the Downeys, Athena Wickham and Amanda Burrell are attached as executive producers.
While some may find Kilter Films’ involvement in the project surprising given their departure from WBTV last year for a large overall deal with Amazon, where their Fallout series adaptation is in the works, sources report that Sphere had been in development at the former before their exit.
The project also marks the latest from Team Downey set at HBO after partnering for the Perry Mason reboot starring Matthew Rhys (A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood), which proved to be a critical and ratings success and landed a second season order from the network.