Patrick Macmanus who is getting decent reviews on Syfy’s ‘Happy!’ has just been tapped by Universal Cable Productions to develop ‘Slaughterhouse-Five’ for the small screen. This iconic Kurt Vonnegut classic was initially released in 1969 and is ripe for a televised adaptation. This deal is coming about from Macmanus having an overall deal with the studio for future productions. Set to executive produce with UCP will be Gale Anne Hurd (‘The Walking Dead’) of Valhalla Entertainment, Jon Brown of Ensemble Entertainment, and Bradley Yonover of Brand Y Media.
The novel itself was a satirical masterpiece which followed Billy Pilgrim who was a chaplain’s assistant in the U.S. Army and survives the firebombing of Dresden. We see Pilgrim become “unstuck” from time and ends up visiting various points of his life. This is a multi-layered and complex story and a fun read. From science fiction to social commentary it has it all and could be a great fit for today.
No word as to what network it might appear on though UCP will likely shop the series through the NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment group and likely other networks and premium services as well.
According to senior vice president of development for UCP Elise Henderson “It’s obviously a favorite book for many of us” and in fact, they’ve “been tracking it for many years” as the rights to make it have been tied up in a previously stalled feature-length deal. As soon as the rights opened, UCP jumped on the project saying:
“…we jumped in! At that point, we needed a writer, and we had just been introduced to Patrick for ‘Happy!’ Having read his material, we knew that he has the ability to do the emotional character depth that we need but also the ability to figure out a complex story and how to crack it, and capture the humor and the tone.”
Macmanus himself chimed in as well saying:
“There are no lines that Vonnegut ever throws away. But there are certain lines within the book that allude to a much larger world. I’m not just talking about going off into outer space. He alludes to the Balkanization of the United States and to the hydrogen bombing of the United States. I feel like today’s TV is the only way to tell this story. Even though it’s only approximately 275 pages, I think that it’s ripe to be expanded upon exponentially.”
Not limiting themselves to just the words on the page, the project will expand into a series with ideas which were introduced in the novel that could radically tell a much larger story.
Would you be interested in seeing ‘Slaughterhouse-Five’ expanded into a much larger story? Which network do you feel would be a good fit for the series? Share your thoughts below!