The feature film debut of Godzilla director Gareth Edwards has inspired a TV series, as Monsters is being made into an ongoing show by a UK broadcaster. The 2010 sci-fi film impressed critics on its festival and cinema runs, and led directly to Edwards being appointed to helm the Kaiju reboot. Now UK and US viewers can apparently expect to see further stories involving the giant alien beasts stalking across the planet.
British filmmaker Edwards started out working on visual effects on TV and film, before making Monsters. The film was a low-budget independent production for which he served as the writer, director, cinematographer, and visual effects artist. The story takes place in the aftermath of a NASA probe crash in Mexico, which unwittingly carried spores of alien organisms to Earth. These grow into gigantic creatures which decimate their surroundings, although this is natural animal behavior as oppose to evil intentions or intelligence. The plot follows two fugitives as they travel through Mexico’s ‘Infected Zone’, where the authorities try to keep the extra-terrestrials from spreading further. The film was a box office success as it grossed $4.2m against a budget of less than $500,000, and was later followed by the sequel Monsters: Dark Continent in 2015, although this follow-up is generally considered to be pretty poor.
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Now Deadline has reported that the concept is being turned into a television series by Vertigo Films for UK broadcaster Channel 4. Writer/producer Ronan Bennett, who recently worked on Kit Harington’s Gunpowder, will be acting showrunner. Whilst British writers Daniel Fajemisin-Duncan and Marlon Smith are penning the scripts, having worked on previous high-profile TV dramas. Although a US distributor has not yet been announced, it’s rumored that the TV channel is in talks with major broadcasters and SVOD services including Netflix and Amazon. It’s very likely that the this comparatively big-budget project will follow a similar path to other recent Channel 4 series, such as Electric Dreams showing on Amazon, and Humans being filmed in partnership with AMC.
It’s too early to say how the series will deal with the concept, especially as special effects will have to play an important part in the story. Whilst the original film stayed central to Mexico, the sequel opened up the scope to include other ‘infected zones’ in the Middle East and across the globe. The idea of human society being unavoidably changed by the invasion is a rich idea for continuing stories, and the films used this background to explore themes around immigration and military conflict. It’s currently unknown as to whether surviving characters from either film may return, or if the series will be anthology based or have a continuing story-arc.
Edwards obviously went on to direct Rogue One after Godzilla, and is now rumored to be involved in a behind-the-scenes capacity with the show as it gets off the ground, which obviously would give a lot of confidence and credibility to it. At this early stage in development it will be interesting to see which US distributor shows an interest and when Monsters is expected to appear on our screens. More news as we get it.
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