Fresh off the critical success of Annihilation, writer-director Alex Garland is heading to television for his next project, as FX officially orders the pilot for his upcoming series, Devs. The news comes several weeks after the filmmaker first mentioned the project, which happened to coincide mostly with the release of his well-received adaptation of the first novel in Jeff VanderMeer’s ‘Southern Reach Trilogy’. Though Garland has only shared general details about the series, anticipation is high in the wake of his most recent theatrical release (provided you live in in the U.S., anyway).
Garland recently spoke about Devs, saying the eight-part series would delve into the world of technology and explore a “particular aspect” that has to do with “very, very big data and powerful processing power.” At the time, that was not a lot to go on, especially with regard to how that idea will fill out an eight-hour story, but along with the pilot order comes new details. The series will involve “a young computer engineer, Lily, [who] investigates the secretive development division of her employer, a cutting-edge tech company based in San Francisco, which she believes is behind the disappearance of her boyfriend.”
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Whatever else Garland has cooking with Devs it’s apparently enough to have FX want to see a pilot episode, which was announced today by FX’s Presidents of Original Programming, Eric Schrier and Nick Grad. Schrier had this to say in the announcement:
“Devs is a captivating series from Alex Garland, building on his track record of groundbreaking work that challenges our notion of humanity amid the seemingly boundless promise of technology,” said Schrier. “We’re all the more thrilled that Alex will direct and executive produce with our partners at DNA TV and Scott Rudin Productions.”
The move is not only exciting from an audience standpoint, but it’s also a smart one by FX, which has seen Ryan Murphy leave the network he’s worked with for so long in favor of a huge production deal with Netflix. Murphy’s exit, of course, opens the door for many other interesting creators to step in and develop properties with what is perhaps the most artist-friendly network in television today. Bringing in a talent like Garland, who has gone from author to screenwriter and producer to acclaimed director with just two films under his belt (or three, if Karl Urban’s recent comments about Dredd are correct), not only helps assuage certain concerns about the network’s future programming, but also offers a welcome breath of fresh air to FX’s lineup.
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Devs does not currently have a release date.