As Pierce Brown made the rounds on his Dark Age book tour, one of the questions that came up more than once from Red Rising fans was about the status of the Red Rising TV show. For a while now, Pierce Brown’s default response to requests for an update on the Red Rising TV show was that information would be coming soon.
“Soon” is more or less what Pierce Brown is still saying on the subject, but his reasoning for keeping mum on the topic is pretty sound.
Here’s the update he offered Howlers during the Q&A at the Union Square Barnes & Noble in New York City:
“In 2014, I sold it to Universal, and I thought I was cool, cool, cool because I thought a movie was coming out and it’d be awesome awesome awesome. Then I found Hollywood reality, right? So I wrote the first couple drafts and then the script got passed off to someone else and the whole thing went into what we call ‘development hell.’ Which is basically me sending emails and getting no replies.
Fortunately, the rights reverted back to me. I sat on them for two years because I thought that no movie was better than a bad movie. And instead, I started to piece together the creative team. So, I found the director, I found the writer — and if you know who they are, don’t say their names, please, because we’re still keeping it low because I don’t think we should put the cart before the horse again.
I think we’re in a world that loves announcements but nothing happens. Instead, I’d like not to be embarrassed again and for when we announce it, for it to be a success, not a maybe success, not an option thing. But we’ve pieced together the pilot, written it. We’ll be taking it out soon. We have all the financing and all that stuff, we just gotta have someone who wants to carry it. Which is the network. And that’s the pitch process. So, hopefully in a month or two, we’ll have a cool announcement. If you hear nothing, it’s because I fucked up.”— Pierce Brown at Union Square Barnes & Noble (Quote pulled from a video courtesy of Frostbit_Sky on Youtube)
Since Universal’s Red Rising movie plans fizzled, we’ve known for a while that Pierce Brown was trying to make it into a TV show. Substantial updates have been few and far between since then, but from his latest comments on the subject, it sounds like Brown is still optimistic. It also sounds like he wants to wait until the project is on solid ground with a network (or streaming service?) before he starts talking openly about who’s involved.
You can watch Pierce Brown’s full Q&A with author Peter V. Brett at the Union Square Barnes & Noble below:
An R-Rated adaptation
While he hasn’t spoken a lot about how his plans for the Red Rising TV show, Pierce Brown did offer up a few general ideas during his Dark Age tour. From the comments he made at the BookPeople Q&A in Austin, it sounds like they’re aiming for a hard-R vision and a 10-episode season…
“What’s important to me is making it a hard-R 10-episode season. And making it as good as possible and as true to the books as possible. And even getting to expound beyond the books and perhaps even getting to see between books 1 and 2. You know, Darrow returning to Lorn and things like that… the Academy.”– Pierce Brown at the BookPeople Dark Age Q&A (Quote via video posted by @katherinefangirling at the Hic Sunt Leones Facebook group)
Hearing Pierce Brown talk about a hard-R 10-episode season for Red Rising already gives me a lot of hope that, should Red Rising make it to the screen, a TV adaptation would have the time (and hopefully the budget) to do the books justice. And given all of the violence featured in the books, a hard R adaptation sounds about right.
As for what he mentioned about Darrow’s time with Lorn and at the Academy, the thought of getting to see some events that took place between books or otherwise “off screen” in the novels is amazing. We never got to see Darrow training with Lorn between the events of Red Rising and Golden Son, or his time at the Academy, which would’ve included his introduction to Victra. Given that she’s Antonia’s sister, what exactly was Darrow’s first impression of her? I need to know these things.
That Pierce Brown is holding off on details about the adaptation makes sense, given his mentioned reasons. Getting a TV show off the ground is a process. From what it sounds like, he’s still trying to make it happen and he has a team of people working with him to try to make a TV show for Red Rising a reality. Here’s hoping it all works out!