Apr 14 2014 11:45am

Game of...Space Operas! James S.A. Corey’s Leviathan Wakes is Coming to SyFy

The Expanse SyFy television

SyFy has ordered a 10-episode adaptation of James S.A. Corey’s space opera novel Leviathan Wakes, which will be titled The Expanse. The novel, which was nominated for the Hugo Award for Best Novel and the Locus Award Best SF Novel in 2012, has been praised by both Annalee Newitz and Jo Walton, and described by George R.R. Martin as a “really kick-ass space opera.” Appropriately, The Expanse is being billed as “Game of Thrones in space.”

According to the network, the series will follow “the case of a missing young woman who brings a hardened detective and a rogue ship’s captain together in a race across the solar system to expose the greatest conspiracy in human history.” The series will be written by Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby, whose previous credits include the first Iron Man and Children of Men, for which they received an Academy Award nomination.

Syfy’s president Dave Howe, said: “The Expanse is epic in scale and scope and promises to be Syfy’s most ambitious series to date… [it] joins a killer line-up of high-concept, high quality series, along with recently announced original projects Ascension, 12 Monkeys, the renewal of Helix, and the soon to premiere Dominion.”

So, what do we all think? Will SyFy do the series justice? Who’s your dream casting for Jim Holden and Det. Miller?

Leviathan Wakes art by Daniel Dociu. Larger versions and wallpaper for your device are available at Orbit Books.

Doug from Tally
1. Doug from Tally
Well, as long as it isn't done by the same folks who brought us "Tin Man" and "Alice", it MIGHT not suck.
Doug from Tally
2. BenSullivan

Potentially the best thing ever. Although will face same problems with other opera conversions like Dune etc - how to fit epicness into 10 episodes.

Fingers crossed.
Sarah Lester
3. slester
Oh man if they do this well.... I'm dancing in my chair right now. I really hope they do this well, but it is SyFy, so it'll probably be hit or miss =/ I wouldn't mind Paul Blackthorn as Miller.
Doug from Tally
4. Jorge de la Vega
When I was reading the novel, despite most of the descriptions, I actually pictured Holden as Nathan Fillion (you know, in his Captain Mal awesomeness) and Miller, despite the whole Belter thing, as Harrison Ford in Blade Runner (the whole sci-fi noir thing going on). But since I don't think that'll be possible for a casting... I've got high hopes for any new talent that can make the characters justice.
Doug from Tally
5. joelfinkle
Much worry. So concern.

Syfy has a reputation for doing things on the cheap, and Leviathan Wakes doesn't really fit that: big cast, multiple viewpoints, large number of locations, lots of splodey things, thousands of (minor spoiler) zombies.

If they can pull this off, it could be a lot of fun. Then again, it could be Continuum.
Doug from Tally
6. amysrevenge
I hope it stresses the detective/mystery of the story. That should be the most successful way to get it to play as a TV show I reckon.
Doug from Tally
7. SeanOCadhlaigh
I honestly cant really see anyone as Holden or Amos.
Esai Morales as Miller maybe
Stephanie Jacobsen as Naomi
Keith David as Fred Johnson
Amir Arison as Alex (maybe Nabil Elouahabi but the character is described as having a Texan drawl & a lot of times British actors trying to do southern accents is painful to listen to)
Joe Vondracek
8. joev
If Nathan Fillion is Jim Holden, then I would propose Michelle Hurd as Naomi Nagata. Except that he's 6'2" and she's 5'10", so that doesn't fit with the differences in the characters' heights.

The good news: if the series is successful, there should be no shortage of material for it since "James S.A. Corey" has been cranking out a new Expanse novel almost every year, unlike some other authors around here who shall go unmentioned, but whose initials also consist of four letters.
Doug from Tally
10. JoR
I think Joel Edgerton for Miller, and an unknown for Holden. Can't wait!
Beth S.
11. molokini
Wonder how they're going to address the physical differences between Earthers and Belters. (By glossing over it, most likely...)

Also, the you-know-whats were bad enough in my head; I'm really not looking forward to those visuals.
Doug from Tally
12. Graham Warnken
Like many others here, I pictured Holden as Nathan Fillion. Miller I pictured as Robin Williams—not funny Robin Williams, Good Will Hunting Robin Williams.

I'm pretty bummed that SyFy is the one taking charge, but I hold out hope that this could still be awesome. We shall see.
Doug from Tally
13. Jesse N
I thin the easiest way for SyFy to depict the belters is to find use the tricks used for the LoTR movies with the hobbits. That or basketball players...
Never imagined Nathan Fillion though...
Doug from Tally
14. vjj
Considering the colossal disaster which was Helix Season 1, I have absolutely no hope for this series. Also, the hubris of comparing it to GAME OF THRONES bodes ill not least because they don't have anywhere near the same budget for each episode - and inviting the comparison only makes it so much worse.

SyFy-lis is never going to get it right ever again. BSG's first two seasons were an aberration. SyFy will never reach that level of quality ever again
Steve Oerkfitz
15. SteveOerkfitz
SyFy channel has never produced a decent show yet. A Wizard of Earthsea was probably the worst adaptation of a classic SF/F book ever.
Doug from Tally
16. James Davis Nicoll
Ah, someone lucky enough never to have seen the film adaptation of The High Crusade.
Doug from Tally
17. Max Gardner
The books are so movie-like I found myself casting them as I read. I always pictured Holden as Sam Worthington (I know, the man doesn't have the best reputation as a fine actor, but Holden's probably among my least favorite characters anyway) and Miller as Peter Weller.

I weep for what they will inevitably do to Bobbie Draper.
Rob Munnelly
18. RobMRobM
Re Syfy - look and feel of Helix was outstanding and acting was good. Problem was the inconsistent writing. We shouldn't have that problem with the team assembled, thank goodness. I'm cautiously optimistic.

For casting, how about Damien Lewis as Holden? We need some Emmy-level acting goodness and he needs a job. Katee Sackoff as Bobbie Draper - that would be almost too obvious. Zoe Saldana for Naomi - but how tall is she? Finding a 5 10-plus actress would be key to avoiding need for Belter special effects. I could do Peter Weller as Miller, good idea!
Rob Munnelly
19. RobMRobM
I should note that the Game of Thrones in Space is apt on multiple levels. Both of the authors are in GRRM's New Mexico writers' mafia, Dan Abraham wrote the comic book version of AGOT, and Ty Frank is GRRM's part-time assistant. Moreover, while there may not be Seven Kingdoms and a Dragon Lady to balance the story, the Expanse comes close (Earth, Mars, Belters, Mega-corporations, United Nations, aliens, etc).
Doug from Tally
20. tigeraid
I saw "The Expanse on TV." I squeeled.

Then I saw "The Expanse on SyFy." I wept.
Doug from Tally
21. tigeraid
On a side note... I read all the books picturing Robert Forster as Miller. AMIRITE!?!?!?
Rob Munnelly
22. RobMRobM
@21. Damn right. (Can we get Pam Grier as Naomi too....?)
Doug from Tally
23. Dan Chak
I have had little respect for this network since they canceled Farscape. Why couldn't HBO get it?
Doug from Tally
24. Tim DisturbingDuck
I demand vomit zombies! (If you've read the know what that means).

Kidding asidee, if it hews close to the original in character and plot, I will be a happy camper. I loved the total genre mashup of Sci Fi, political thriller and police procedural noir. I will patiently await the coming of the second season when they dramatize Caliban's War & cast
Shohreh Aghdashloo as Chrisjen Avasarala which is a moral imperitive. ...
Doug from Tally
25. Spaceechik
tigeraid, you're a genius! As I read Leviathan Wakes, I was imagining Robert Forster, even though I couldn't have picked him out of a line-up, or even knew who he was. How weird is that?

That SyFy is the one doing this? Sad. They have a bad habit of dropping things just at the cusp of dramatic tension. Look how long it took them to return to Warehouse 13, which probably won't be worth the return ticket. And I'm sure we'll never even hear of Defiance again...

And ComCast wants to be the ruler of ALL MEDIA.
Doug from Tally
26. clintmccool
Sam Rockwell as Holden?
Doug from Tally
27. ElDubs
I like my genres thoroughly mixed... I would definitely pick Chris Eccleston for Miller. Holden as Fillion is a stroke of genius but it will never happen. And I submit for your consideration, Moon Bloodgood as Naomi.
Doug from Tally
28. gerrylum
Shohreh Aghdashloo as Chrisjen Avasarala is EXACTLY who I pictured in my head as I read Caliban's War. If they don't cast her I'll be extremely disappointed. I literally don't care about any of the rest of the casting except for this. ;)
Doug from Tally
29. bluh
Miller- Lawrence Fishburn
Holden- Mark Walburg
Naomi- Michelle Hurd, Jenifer Hudson
Alex- Joel Edgerton
Amos- Danny McBride
Doug from Tally
30. A Belter
For Belters they are casting tall thin people, not sure if they plan on using further camera tricks. And from what I've seen, the budget is meh. Some of the costumes for the extras are off-the-rack Goodwill finds. No joke.
Doug from Tally
31. Spaceechik
Belter, do you know if they're already filming? Thought it was not til mid 2015.
Doug from Tally
32. A Belter
Filming has begun. I believe the plan is to air it in 2015.

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