For the last few years, Red Rising fans have been eagerly awaiting word of the movie adaptation for Pierce Brown’s beloved sci-fi fantasy series. “It’s in the works” and “movie adaptations take time” have been Brown’s (paraphrased) default answers up until recently. Now it seems we may not see a Red Rising movie after all, with the adaptation possibly headed to television instead.
There were rumblings about this from fans coming out of the Iron Gold book tour, and Pierce Brown made the rumor a bit more official when he spoke with Global News about his efforts to get a Red Rising TV show made. When talking about his efforts to draft the screenplay for the intended Red Rising movie, Brown said…
“With the Red Rising series, I realized we were truncating so much stuff when we were doing the movie adaptation. I did the first two drafts for Universal Studios. And I noticed so many characters that I loved, that were close to me and close to the readers only had two lines. So, it felt like the natural progression to take it to television, so we’re setting that up right now.”
That beloved characters might be written down or out of the story is pretty much exactly what any book fan fears when it comes to the movie adaptation. Short of breaking the books up into multiple movies, it seems impossible that all of the characters from a story might get the screen time they’re due. Such would surely be the case with Red Rising, which is full of great characters, some of whom might need to be downplayed or scrapped in an effort to fit all of Darrow’s story into the space of a feature-length film. But on television, there would be more time to work them in.
Pierce Brown referenced Game of Thrones when talking about the ability to expand the scope of a story with television. From that perspective, it makes sense that Red Rising would be a better fit for TV.
While Brown didn’t get into specifics during the interview with Global News, he did open up a bit about the TV show during the Iron Gold Q&A at Mysterious Galaxy. Brown says he’s in touch with a director who wants to do the entire first season. He wouldn’t say who that director is, but it’s someone we’ve heard of. They’re still seeking out a showrunner for the project, and Pierce Brown would be the head writer. He also mentioned that there’s interest from some of the best streaming channels, which is excellent news.
Not only will a Red Rising TV show need a decent budget, but it’ll also need a network (or streaming service) that recognizes its potential and is willing to give it time to grow. In addition to the right showrunner, a proper Red Rising TV show also needs the right composer to do the music. I’m just going to nominate Bear McCreary right now. A Bear McCreary Red Rising theme song would undoubtedly be brilliant. And then, of course, there’s the casting. With a movie, we might expect a few big names, but a TV show would be able to seek out new talent and hopefully find the perfect actors to take on the leads.
Hopefully Brown will have more details to offer us on the project in the near future. The best piece of news would be to learn that a premium cable channel or a streaming service has made some kind of commitment to the project, but we may have to wait for that, possibly a while. In the meantime, Pierce Brown is finishing up his Iron Gold book tour over in the U.K., after which fans have months to wait for Dark Age to hit shelves this Fall.