Universal Cable Productions has acquired the rights to adapt George R.R. Martin's Wild Cards series of anthologies and mosaic novels for television. In his LiveJournal "Not A Blog" Saturday, Martin wrote that development "will begin immediately on what we hope will be the first of several interlocking series." Melinda M. Snodgrass, Martin's "assistant editor and right-hand man on Wild Cards since its inception, the creator of Dr. Tachyon, Double Helix and Franny Black, and a seasoned television writer/producer" is an executive producer on the project, along with Gregory Noveck of RED, Slow Learner and SyFy Films.
The first volume of the Wild Cards series was published in 1986 and "22 volumes have been published to date, with a 23rd (High Stakes) scheduled for hardcover release later this month, and three more in the works," Martin noted, adding that "generations of writers, from bold new voices to visionary grand masters, have contributed to the Wild Cards universe over the past three decades.... Which stories will be adapted? Which characters will be featured? Hard to say at this early stage."
Martin won't be working on the series because his development deal is exclusive to HBO, "and I am writing The Winds of WInter, as I believe most of you will recall... but I have every confidence in Melinda Snodgrass and Gregory Noveck. They know and love the Wild Cards universe almost as well as I do, and I think they will do a terrific job."
James Norton (Grantchester, War & Peace, Happy Valley) has been cast as the lead in BBC One's upcoming event series McMafia, which was inspired by Misha Glenny's bestselling book. Deadline reported that "the hard-hitting look at global crime and its far reaching influence is created by Hossein Amini (Drive) and James Watkins (The Woman In Black)." Watkins will direct all eight episodes. The writing team also includes David Farr (The Night Manager), Peter Harness (Doctor Who, Wallander) and Laurence Coriat (Wonderland, Me Without You). Cuba Pictures is producing.