In addition to eagerly anticipating the arrival of Dark Age (Red Rising Book 5), fans of Pierce Brown’s Red Rising are also awaiting word on the anticipated screen adaptation of the series. The Red Rising story was originally slated to be made into a movie from Universal, however Pierce Brown got the rights back a couple of years ago and now he’s looking to bring it to television.
The Red Rising TV Show
Since that’s such a popular subject among Red Rising fans, I’m leading this roundup with the latest word on the Red Rising TV project in development, after which we’ll get into some other fascinating things Pierce Brown recently shared during his trip overseas to meet with Red Rising fans in Hungary and Romania.
If you’ve been keeping track of Pierce Brown’s adventures on Instagram, you know he was recently in Hungary and Romania to promote Iron Gold. Among the questions he was asked at the panel in Budapest was an update on the Red Rising screen adaptation. While Brown didn’t offer any new details about the project (including which director he’s working with), he did have some interesting thoughts about the process and why he’s excited about a TV adaptation as opposed to a movie…
“They were going to make a movie at Universal, and then I got the rights back two years ago and so they’re not going to anymore. And that’s very, very good because the direction and path they were going down isn’t one that I believed was representative of the series. I got the rights back and I’ve packaged them now with a director. So, me and a director have been working and he’s fantastic. And I’ll probably be putting out information on that soon. He’s fantastic and we’re going to be taking it and making it a TV show.
It’ll be a streaming service. So it’ll be on an Amazon or an Apple or something like that as soon as we move forward in the [process]. So right now, we’re writing the scripts and putting them all together. But he’s a kickass director…
In that type of situation, I have almost complete control in terms of — because I get to choose who we bring on. I want to co-write it with someone else, so I’m bringing on another writer so we can work it together. Because it’s so much more fun when you get to share ideas back and forth. And I’ve written scripts, but none of them have ever been made. So I want to bring on someone who’s kind of a veteran, so I’m not just learning things the entire way. And that process appeals to me much more so, so that I can expand the world and not just show it through Darrow’s eyes the first several seasons. Really expand the world and also explore through the characters’ eyes and also world-build. So I can use the knowledge I’ve gained through writing [the books] to inform the decisions of Red Rising, so that’ll be a lot of fun.”
Couple of key take-aways here. The first is the mention of a streaming service being the likely destination for the series. He’s mentioned that before when talking about the project, but the fact that it came up again and the way he worded it in the Hungary panel makes me think streaming (as opposed to cable or network TV) is the primary (or only) place where Red Rising is being shopped around. The fact that he dropped a couple of examples (Apple and Amazon) makes me think it hasn’t actually landed anywhere yet, officially anyway.
The mention of Apple is especially interesting, as Apple is new to the original content game in streaming programming, especially by comparison to Amazon. It wouldn’t be surprising if Apple were taking an interest in adaptations of established properties like Red Rising in an effort to target pre-existing audiences as they launch and build out their content. (Apple, if you’re reading this, you have my subscription dollars if you pick Red Rising up to series!)
The other exciting thing to hear Brown talk about here is the mention of world-building and exploring perspectives in a Red Rising TV show. My own personal hope for a Red Rising TV show is that it would deliver the best of what the books — and the characters — have to offer while also making enhancements and deviations from the source material in whatever way might be necessary to make the show great but also stay true to the heart of the story. In other words, if the TV show changes things, adds characters and alters plots, that’s fine as long as it’s good and as long as it’s still Red Rising.
Beyond the discussion about the TV show, Pierce Brown also mentioned that they’re trying to get the rights for a Red Rising video game. Given the brutality of the Red Rising universe, that seems all too fitting.
Moving on to other topics, also during the Hungary panel, Pierce Brown shared some very cool (or disturbing, depending on your perspective) tidbits about the life of a Violet in the Red Rising universe. When asked what color he’d be, Brown answered…
“Probably a violet, although that childhood sounds like really intense, because they take acid when they’re nine and then they grow up basically using a lot of controlled substances to basically diminish their qualitative functions and to enhance their free association. So they’re pretty insane. I don’t know, I was on the path to being a Silver, but then I started as a Red. I don’t know, man, I wouldn’t be a Gold because your life expectancy is like this big. If you say you’re a Gold, I don’t trust you. You’re like a very conceited person.”
Hearing that makes me want a novella or short story or anything from the perspective of pretty much every color we haven’t gotten to know better in the Red Rising books, if only to better understand what goes on in their respective worlds.
We’ve learned of the painful horrors that Pinks endure during their training, and a few bits (heh, or bytes) of information about the life of a Blue, but clearly there’s more background info brewing in Pierce’s mind for some of the lesser featured colors. In this case, apparently Violets — the artists of Society — trip out on acid and other drugs in order to enhance their more artistic attributes. Weird stuff. Also, Brown says Violets — like Whites — are a small color in terms of their population among the system, largely due to the fact that there aren’t a lot of jobs to go around for them.
Watch the full Hungary panel below…
On to Romania! Let’s pause for a moment and watch Pierce Brown goof around in Bucharest…
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Behind every book is a weirdo. Thank you to all the amazing Romanians who came out to say hello and listen to me ramble. Your country is a beautiful melting pot of cultures, rich with history and myth, and is full of some of the warmest souls I’ve yet met. Many hugs and kisses for the hospitality and feeding me so much food, beer, and laughter. Onto Bulgaria!
An edited version of the Romania panel made its way online. Of the things he talks about in this portion of the panel below is how the Greek play Antigone influenced the events surrounding Darrow and Eo at the start of Red Rising…
Dark Age Cover
Finally, for those who haven’t seen Pierce Brown’s updates on social lately, the reveal of the Dark Age cover is happening this Friday.
The cover for DARK AGE drops this Friday. First guess as to what's on the cover, gets an autographed Iron Gold. May the guesses fly!
— Pierce Brown (@Pierce_Brown) May 1, 2018
Not sure what — if any — information about Red Rising Book 5 we might be able to glean from its cover, but it’ll be an exciting reminder that the next installment of this series is coming soon.