‘Beacon 23’ TV Series Adaptation From Zak Penn Nears Green Light At Spectrum

Beacon 23, Hugh Howey’s bestselling sci-fi novel, is heading to the small screen. I hear the project, from writer Zak Penn (Ready Player One, Avengers, X-Man franchise), is getting a series order for a run on Charter Communications’ Spectrum cable systems. The series will be produced by independent studio Platform One Media and Spectrum Originals.

Set in the 23rd Century, a series of beacons help passing ships avoid disaster. The TV adaptation focuses on a man who thinks he will find peace manning one of these remote “lighthouses in space”, but he quickly discovers that he can’t outrun his past.

Beacon 23 would mark the second high-profile series order for Spectrum, joining the Bad Boys offshoot L.A.’s Finest starring Gabrielle Union and Jessica Alba. This is part of Charter Communications’s strategy to introduce high-end original content on its Spectrum cable systems. The company’s original efforts are overseen by Katherine Pope (New Girl). One of the first projects she put in development in her previous role as head of TV at Studio 8 was a TV series adaptation of Beacon 23 with a different writer.

Platform One, run by Katie O’Connell Marsh (Narcos), recently inked a first-look deal with Laura Dern and sold drama Kill Creek to Showtime.

Penn, who is known for adapting comic book and sci-fi stories for the big screen, most recently adapted the Ernest Cline novel Ready Player One for director Steven Spielberg for the hit Warner Bros. feature, which has grossed more than $580 million worldwide. Penn has co-written screenplays for the X-Men franchise, Elektra, The Incredible Hulk and most recently, The Avengers. On the TV side he co-created Alphas, which ran for two seasons on Syfy. Penn is currently working on a script for Warner Brothers set in The Matrix universe and is adapting Rom for Hasbro’s Allspark Pictures and Paramount Pictures. He is repped by UTA.

Howey also is the author of Wool, Shift, Dust, and Sand. His works have been translated into more than forty languages and have sold more than three million copies worldwide.

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