Lev Grossman’s urban fantasy novel The Magicians has been slowly making its way to the small screen since the book’s 2009 publication, and since Syfy became involved last month, work on the pilot episode of a Magicians series has accelerated. Now, we’re hearing that the network has tapped Another Earth director Mike Cahill to helm the show’s first installment.
Cahill’s past projects make him an intriguing and promising choice for The Magicians. His 2011 film Another Earth was a thought-provoking sci-fi story filled with real human emotion, and his follow-up I, Origins, which arrived earlier this year, worked to cement Cahill’s status as a talented director to watch.
Announcing the director’s involvement in The Magicians, Bill McGoldrick, executive vice president of original content at Syfy, said the following in an official statement:
“We were impressed with Mike’s feature work and his passion for this material. We are very excited that he will be the one bringing The Magicians to life.”
Grossman’s novel centered on twentysomethings studying magic at the prestigious Brakebills Academy in New York, who discover that the fantastical creatures and world they learned about in their youth is real and poses a threat to all of humanity. It emerged as a unique work due to its blending of Harry Potter-esque magic sequences and more realistic, gritty and bittersweet depictions of college life for its protagonists, complete with sex, depression and self-discovery. The same mixture is expected to be maintained in this upcoming adaptation.
John McNamara (Prime Suspect) and Sera Gamble (Supernatural) are teaming up to pen the script for the pilot, while Michael London (Milk) is on board as a producer.
The Magicians pilot will begin production later this year, with a likely debut for the series in 2015 should the pilot meet Syfy’s expectations.