WGN prepping Roadside Picnic series based on classic sci-fi novel

The network hasn’t exactly found an original ratings hit as of yet, but WGN America is quickly becoming a home for excellent shows — and now they’re prepping a fascinating new sci-fi project.

Deadline reports Watchmen alum Matthew Goode has signed on to star in a pilot based on the 1971 novella Roadside Picnic, written by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky. The story is set in a near future where aliens have long since left as mankind tries to make sense of the mysteries they’ve left behind. It will follow a man named Red (played by Goode), a “stalker” who makes a living scavenging through the abandoned alien cities. 

His character is described as an “enigmatic, blue-collar contradiction,” capable of both quiet intelligence and ruthlessness from one moment to the next. Rounding out the supporting cast, Red has a wife and daughter (both yet to be cast) — though his daughter, Marie, is shunned in their society because she was on the site of a alien visitation. It’s an interesting pitch, and Goode certainly seems like an interesting choice for the role.

The pilot was written Jack Paglen (Transcendence), with Game of Thrones alum Alan Taylor signed on to direct. Veteran producer Neal Moritz (I Am Legend, Furious 7) is also involved behind the scenes. 

The series is in development now, with a pilot commissioned. We’ll keep you posted as things progress.


(Via Deadline, art via Deviant Art)

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