A Waterworld TV Series Is in Development

Amidst the rush to remake and revitalize older franchises for movies and streaming services, there have been plenty of older classic films that have endured the reboot / remake / continuation / reimagination treatment. Take your pick: Battlestar Galactica, Terminator, Star Wars, Star Trek, and Westworld have all been in and out of theaters and on TV in the last twenty or so years, while new projects about The Last Starfighter and Willow are currently in the works.

Now, there’s word of another film that will be brought back: Kevin Reynold’s much-maligned 1995 film Waterworld (pictured above), which Collider reports is getting a streaming series that may serve as a continuation on the story.

Waterworld gained the reputation as becoming a major box office disappointment because of its expensive shoot ($175 million) and low box office debut ($22 million), but it eventually turned around and was profitable thanks to overseas markets.

Still, it’s a film that was ripe for cult status: A goofy movie about a post-apocalyptic Earth ravaged by rising sea levels, with the remnants of humanity existing on floating communities, while hoping that a mythical patch of Earth, “Dryland” might actually exist out there. The film follows a mysterious loner called the Mariner who ends up setting off with two others to try and find Dryland.

According to Collider, the film’s original producer John Davis has begun developing the world as a potential streaming series, one that would start twenty years after the film took place. He’s lined up Dan Trachtenberg (10 Cloverfield Lane, Black Mirror, The Boys, The Lost Symbol, and the forthcoming Predator) to direct should it materialize.

The series would follow the characters from the film, although it’s not clear if they’d get to line up all of the original actors. Davis’s producing partner John Fox noted that there’s still a lot up in the air—”we’re not 100% sure on the approach to the show”—but that they’re currently developing the series and have been speaking with folks about it. Davis didn’t say where the series has ended up, but Collider speculates that because Universal Television is behind it, it seems likely that it could end up on the network’s streaming outlet, Peacock.

Come to think of it, given the continual signs of climate disaster that we’ve seen in 2021, from wide-spread fires to more powerful and unpredictable weather events to concerns over how coastal regions contend with rising sea levels, a story about humanity trying to survive on a post-climate change Earth doesn’t seem all that out there, does it?


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