Amazon Studios has picked up global television rights to the Culture’s first novel Consider Phlebas. The space opera by Iain M. Banks features Banks’ fictional interstellar utopian society, the Culture.
Consider Phlebas draws upon the world and mythology Banks created in the Culture, in which a highly advanced and progressive society ends up at war with the Idirans, a deeply religious, warlike race intent on dominating the entire galaxy.
The series will be adapted by Dennis Kelly (Utopia, Matilda) with Plan B Entertainment (World War Z, 12 Years a Slave, The Big Short, Moonlight, Feud) slated to produce and the Estate of Iain Banks attached as Executive Producer.
The first story focuses 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. What unfolds asks the question of how we can use technology to preserve our humanity, not surrender it.
“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 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, humor 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.”