Chronicle scribe Max Landis to bring Douglas Adams' Dirk Gently novels to TV

Everyone’s favorite quirky cat-and-pizza-loving detective is making his way back to TV. 

IDW Entertainment and Ideate Media just announced today that they’ve optioned the worldwide rights to Douglas Adams’ (The Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy) Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency novels.

Max Landis -- writer of Chronicle and the upcoming Frankenstein flick starring Daniel Radcliffe and James McAvoy -- has been tapped to write the pilot as well as executive-produce the new series.

Below is the official press release:

San Diego, CA (August 4, 2014) – IDW Entertainment (“IDWE”) and Ideate Media announced today they have optioned the worldwide rights to Douglas Adams’ Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency novels. IDWE and Ideate have formed a partnership to co-fund development and co-produce with the intent of securing a direct-to-series commitment. Circle of Confusion will Executive Produce.

Max Landis has been tapped to write the pilot and Executive Produce. Max is the writer of feature films Chronicle, upcoming American Ultra starring Kirsten Stewart & Jesse Eisenberg, and upcoming Frankenstein starring Daniel Radcliffe and James McAvoy. Max will also make his directorial debut with the comedy Me, Him, Her starring Haley Joel Osment and Geena Davis in 2015.

After creating the phenomenon that was The Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams went on to write a series of best-selling novels about Dirk Gently, a detective with a belief in the fundamental interconnectedness of all things, a unique relationship with the laws of probability and physics, and a love of cats and pizza.

Dirk Gently is a charismatic, mysterious, troubled, brilliant, figure – cursed with a relentless intellect, psychic powers he doesn’t fully understand or want, a gift for self-mythologizing, and a supernatural ability to detect disturbances in the fabric of reality, Dirk has found a strange calling as a private detective for impossible crimes.

"Alongside the obvious yada yada I'm a lifelong fan, Long Dark Teatime Of The Soul (the second Dirk Gently novel) is one of the best books ever,” said Max Landis. “Douglas Adams is a visionary who forever changed the way science fiction is written and talked about and even thought about and even the way real actual science is thought about and without whom our culture would be noticeably different for the worse, I'd also just like to say holy crap, it's Dirk Gently. This is any writer's ultimate project, and in the current TV space, it fits ridiculously well. Imagine a playground where you could come with any mystery, no matter how improbable, convoluted, or totally insane and then, simply by finding the right connections, you could tie it all down to one man, one private eye. If you're familiar with the property, you know: there's no freaking rules. Ancient gods? Sure. Larceny and petty crimes? Of course. Extra-dimensional aliens? I mean, probably; as long as you can make it funny, Dirk's on the case. This is a dream project of mine, no joke, and I absolutely positively couldn't be happier.”

Ted Adams and David Ozer from IDW Entertainment, Arvind Ethan David and Zainir Aminullah of Ideate, and David Alpert and Rick Jacobs from Circle of Confusion (The Walking Dead) will serve as executive producers.

“Max is one of Hollywood’s most brilliant writers and represents the ideal voice in bringing Dirk Gently to television”, said David Ozer, President of IDW Entertainment.

Arvind Ethan David, Head of Production and Development at Ideate Media, was a friend and protégé of Douglas Adams and brokered the deal with the estate. He commented: “As a student at Oxford, I directed and co-wrote a theatre adaptation of Dirk Gently. To my amazement, Douglas himself came to see the show - and he liked it and helped launch my career. Almost 20 years later, to return to Dirk, and to add the mad genius of Max Landis to the mad genius of Douglas Adams, is a dream come true and proof of what Douglas, (and Dirk), would describe as ‘the fundamental interconnectedness of all things’”.

In addition to the television series, IDW Publishing & Ideate Media will develop a series of Dirk Gently comic books for release next spring.

“Douglas Adams himself always maintained that his Dirk Gently novels had much greater dramatic potential than his better known Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series.  I think he is about to be proven right -- yet again”, said Ed Victor, Douglas Adams’ long time agent and friend.

This is not the first time that the quirky detective has been brought to TV. The BBC produced a whopping four episodes written by Misfits and Atlantis creator Howard Overman and starring Stephen Mangan (Episodes). The pilot aired back in 2010, and it took the BBC almost two years to finally bring the pilot to series order. Alas, only three episodes were made before Auntie Beeb pulled the plug.

What do you guys think? Are you excited to see Dirk Gently heading to series? Do you think Max Landis is the right guy for the job?

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