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Amazon is making a William Gibson adaptation with Westworld showrunners

Photo: Greg Doherty (Getty Images)

It was more than a year ago that we first reported Westworld showrunners Lisa Joy and Jonathan Nolan were developing an adaptation of The Peripheral, William Gibson’s novel, for Amazon. Now here we are, a mere 19 months later, and the show has been given a series order by the streaming service. Time sure does move fast when you’re spending tens of millions of dollars!

Variety reports that while Joy and Nolan will be executive producing as part of an overall deal they signed with Amazon, writing and showrunning duties will go to Scott B. Smith, the author and screenwriter of A Simple Plan, The Ruins, and Siberia, among others. Additionally, Vincenzo Natali (In The Tall Grass) is directing, though it’s unclear if he’s just doing the pilot or pulling a Mimi Leder/The Morning Show scenario and shooting the entire first season.

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The Peripheral is set in the near future, about a woman named Flynne Fisher who works a security detail inside a virtual reality game, but who ends up having to investigate an incident that may or may not be more real than she was initially led to believe. Honestly, it sounds like an awfully convoluted plot, as we mentioned when we gave the book a less-than-glowing review upon its release. Still, sometimes promising but flawed source material is better to adapt than a book that works perfectly in its original medium. And if there’s anyone who understands the concept of “promising but flawed,” it’d be the people behind Westworld.

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Alex McLevy

Alex McLevy is a writer and editor at The A.V. Club, and would kindly appreciate additional videos of robots failing to accomplish basic tasks.