Tue
Jul 15 2014 4:40pm

Thomas Jane to Star in James S.A. Corey’s The Expanse TV Series

Thomas Jane star The Expanse Syfy James S.A. Corey Daniel Abraham Ty Franck Leviathan's Wake

In addition to angels declaring war on mankind in Dominion and college-age wizards in The Magicians, Syfy’s slate of new shows also includes The Expanse, based on the space opera series written by James S.A. Corey. Billed as “Game of Thrones in space,” the series (which has been picked up in a 10-episode deal) promises to be one of Syfy’s more ambitious endeavors.

Aside from the plot of the books that was all we knew, until today’s update from Daniel Abraham (one half of the James S. A. Corey writing duo with Ty Franck) on the challenges of making a mainstream genre show and who The Punisher star Thomas Jane will play on The Expanse.

Like Game of Thrones, The Expanse is based on a book series that has a good long lifespan ahead of it. Here’s what the show will focus on:

A thriller set two hundred years in the future, The Expanse follows 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.

Abraham posted an update to his and Franck’s blog today, sharing various cast and crew updates for The Expanse. The most exciting is the casting of Thomas Jane as Detective Miller—“who, if you don’t know him, was designed in a government lab for the role,” Abraham writes. “Seriously.” It’s Jane’s experience headlining both films like The Mist and Golden Globe-nominated TV series like Hung that made him the best choice to lead this show.

That same straddling of genres is represented in the series’ director Terry McDonough, who directed the Breaking Bad episode “Better Call Saul” and the Doctor Who biopic An Adventure in Space and Time.

The production designer? Seth Reed, whose work on Cosmos just garnered him an Emmy nomination. Sounds like a pretty solid team.

We especially appreciate Abraham’s insights into how tricky it is to get a show like this made:

The adjective people keep using to describe this project is “ambitious.” We’re trying to write something that’s genre but doesn’t rely on a knowledge of genre. We’re trying to film something that’s dark and dramatic and also funny and humane. Something that actually moves the line forward on science fiction television.

You do something like that, you really really hope it’ll go well.

It’s going well.

Woo!

10 comments
Wes S.
1. Wes S.
Here's hoping SyFy (gulp!) does it justice.

*fingers crossed*
Wes S.
2. Tenesmus
If you read the comments in the original link, it appears they have a Holden, but they can't say who it is yet. That is very good news.
Jeff Youngstrom
3. jeffy
I'll be interested to see how they deal with microgravity and Belter physiology. That divide is a huge part of the political landscape of the books so it's hard to see how they can tell the story without some way to represent it.
Sean Tabor
4. wingracer
I suspect they will just dump all the physiology. Other than that, I can see him as Miller.
Alan Brown
5. AlanBrown
While I take everything SyFy channel does with a grain of salt, I have hope this project will end up being a good one. Sounds like they are starting to assemble a good team to work on the series. And Jane is a talented actor with a lot of range, who is not new to SF and genre projects. I especially liked his performance as Mickey Mantle in Billy Crystal's movie "61."
Wes S.
6. Doug from Tally
Maybe, just maybe, SyFy will figure out that a well-produced, well-written quality series (and I'm hoping The Expanse is one, of course) is a really good thing and will toss the reality shows and junk movies (I'm lookin' at YOU Sharknado 1 & 2!).

One can only hope.
Sky Thibedeau
7. SkylarkThibedeau
When I first saw "Helix" I thought it was kind of a "Leviathan Wakes" in the arctic. Maybe just maybe sighfye can pull off a superior adaptation in 10 episodes. I see them using the Helix sets and puking zombies for the space station and protomolecule zombies.
Andrew Phillips
8. APTimes2
Pretty super excited about this series. Came across the books a little over a month ago and have already read the first three. A little nervous about Syfy being the channel, but the team sounds great!
Bryan Price
9. bytehead
Can't wait to see the blue fireflies.

The zero-g and low gravity, and physical differences between Earthers and the others? That's going to be interesting to see.

And I'm very curious as to who is going to play Holden, as well as the rest of the crew of the Rocinante.

It will be interesting to see who colorful Chrisjen Avasarala's dialog remains, as well. o_O
Wes S.
10. Philomorph
Of course my concern is that before Hung, Jane had a long history of starring in great shows that get cancelled relatively quickly. Here's hoping he's found another home for awhile, because my wife and I love him.

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