Syfy has been grabbing the adaptation rights to all manner of SFF classics and beloved series: Childhood’s End, 3001: The Final Odyssey, Old Man’s War, The Expanse, The Magicians. The network’s latest acquisition is Brave New World, Aldous Huxley’s 1932 searing satire of a materialistic, identity-less, ultimately negative utopia.
Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment will adapt the novel as a miniseries, with Taken (the 2003 Sci-Fi Channel miniseries, not the Liam Neeson franchise) writer Les Bohem writing the script.
In the 80+ years since its publication, Brave New World has had many radio and film adaptations—both television movies, the latter starring Peter Gallagher and Leonard Nimoy in 1998. Back in 2009, Ridley Scott and Leonardo DiCaprio were pondering a movie, but that never made it off the ground. Actually, Scott’s company is partnering with Syfy on the 3001: The Final Odyssey miniseries.
Syfy president Dave Howe said in a press release:
Brave New World is one of the most influential genre classics of all time. Its provocative vision of a future gone awry remains as powerful and as timeless as ever. Promising to be a monumental television event, Brave New World is precisely the groundbreaking programming that is becoming the hallmark of Syfy.
By “provocative,” they mean that babies are engineered (with helpful and harmful traits) in laboratories, the terms “mother” and “father” are obscenities, people slip into soma comas when they simply can’t deal with emotions, everyone is polyamorous, and Henry Ford is God (replacing all crosses with Ts). The World State advocates for “community, identity, stability,” but they lack all of these even as there is no violence and all of the citizens’ material needs are met. It’s only when a “savage” arrives from a reservation-slash-tourist-trap that the characters begin to realize everything they’re missing.
It will be interesting to see if Syfy incorporates any elements from Huxley’s 1958 follow-up, Brave New World Revisited, in which he posited that society has grown closer to the future ruined by our trivial desires. The hyper-emotional dystopia of Brave New World is certainly relevant to today’s modern society.