Amazon has acquired the global television rights to Consider Phlebas by Scottish writer Iain M. Banks which features Banks’ fictional interstellar utopian society, the Culture.
The upcoming Prime Video series will be adapted by Dennis Kelly (Utopia, Matilda) and produced by Plan B Entertainment (World War Z, Twelve Years a Slave, The Big Short, Moonlight, Feud). The Estate of Iain Banks will take an Executive Producer role.
Consider Phlebas draws upon the world and mythology Banks created in the Culture, in which a highly advanced and progressive society end up at war with the Idirans, a deeply religious, warlike race intent on dominating the entire galaxy.
The story centres on Horza, a rogue agent tasked by the Idirans with the impossible mission of recovering a missing Culture ‘Mind,’ an artificial intelligence many thousands of times smarter than any human—something that could hold the key to wiping out the Culture altogether.
“The story of the Culture is so rich and captivating that for years Hollywood has been trying to bring this utopian society to life on the screen,” said Sharon Tal Yguado, Head of Scripted Series at Amazon Studios. “We are honoured that we have been chosen, along with Dennis Kelly and Plan B Entertainment, to make Consider Phlebas into a television series we think will be loved by fans for years to come.”
“Iain Banks has long been a hero of mine and his innate warmth, humour and humanism shines through these novels,” said Dennis Kelly. “Far from being the dystopian nightmares that we are used to, Banks creates a kind of flawed paradise, a society truly worth fighting for—rather than a warning from the future, his books are a beckoning.”
“We revere the work of Iain Banks and continue to be moved by his inimitable spirit and his commitment to imagining a better future even in the darkest of times,” said Plan B. “Consider Phlebas simultaneously explores the deepest questions concerning humanity and our future. We are so grateful to The Estate of Iain Banks for the opportunity to bring his work to life, and to Amazon for the scope of their ambition and commitment to building Iain’s prescient world.”
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