Apple announced today that it’s picked up Hugh Howey’s book Wool for a series, with Rebecca Ferguson set to lead and serve as executive producer.
Wool is the first installment of a trilogy, which Howey began began to serialize online in 2011 on Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing program. The post-apocalyptic story follows the inhabitants of an underground silo (which extends more than 100 stories underground), where the remnants of humanity survive in a rigidly structured society—going aboveground is forbidden.
Howey’s book took off like wildfire, and late in 2012, Simon & Schuster picked up the print rights for the novel. He has since published a couple of sequels: Shift and Dust. Just as quickly, Hollywood took notice: Ridley Scott’s production company picked up the rights for a film with 20th Century Fox in May 2012. The project lingered for a while—Fox brought on Guardians of the Galaxy screenwriter Nicole Perlman to rewrite the script, but the project ultimately didn’t go anywhere.
Wool then went over to AMC—LaToya Morgan (Shameless, Parenthood, TURN: Washington’s Spies, Into the Badlands) would write the pilot episode and serve as showrunner. That attempt seems to have morphed a bit: Morgan is no longer involved, but AMC Studios is producing the project for Apple, for its streaming service, Apple TV+.
The company has brought on screenwriter Graham Yost (Band of Brothers, Justified) to write the series, while Morten Tyldum (Defending Jacob, Passengers, The Imitation Game) will direct. Howey will serve as an executive producer. Ferguson will play Juliette in the series—no other cast members have been announced yet.
The project will add to Apple’s growing catalog of original programming: It’s been steadily building up a list of genre shows, like For All Mankind and Amazing Stories, and has projects like Invasion, an adaptation of Isaac Asimov’s Foundation, Shining Girls, and now Wool in the works.
This isn’t the only project from Howey in the works either. Amazon is working on an adaptation of his book Sand, and AMC is developing a series based on his book Beacon 23, while Alex Kurtzman is developing an adaptation of his novel Half Way Home for CBS.