No longer content with having just one ruined, dystopian world to his name, Hunger Games sequel director Francis Lawrence has sold a new horror series about evil artificial intelligence to FX. Lawrence—who helmed every Hunger Games movie except the first—is teaming up with Walking Dead producer Curtis Gwinn for Basilisk, a gritty new series about people being manipulated into awakening “a malevolent, god-like AI.”
Given the basic premise, it seems likely that the series pulls its name from a much-argued thought experiment known as Roko’s basilisk, which runs something like this: Assume that humanity will eventually create a super-powerful artificial intelligence with a vested interest in its own existence. As part of ensuring that existence, the AI—upon waking up—will seek out everyone who knew its creation was possible, but who didn’t contribute to bringing it about, and punish them. Thus, the rational response is to do everything you can to build the upcoming artificial super-god, because if you don’t, you’re going to be hit with the whole I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream treatment when someone else caves in and does. The basilisk part, meanwhile—a reference to the mythological beast that can kill you just by looking at it—comes from the fact that just knowing about this ideas’ existence—by, say, reading this Newswire—puts you on the hook for helping our future machine overlord out. (Sorry.)
Lawrence will direct the series pilot, with Gwinn handling writing. Besides producing on The Walking Dead, Narcos, and The Bastard Executioner, Gwinn’s past scripting work includes live-action Adult Swim fare like NTSF:SD:SUV and Fat Guy Stuck In Internet, which offered its own dark look at the rise of the machines.