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Douglas Adams' Dirk Gently Getting TV Adaptation From Chronicle Writer Max Landis
The interconnectedness of people, places and things has long been subject matter for storytellers to base their tales on, but few have handled it with the erratic aplomb of British author Douglas Adams. His holistic detective character Dirk Gently is headed to American television thanks to comic publisher IDW and Chronicle screenwriter Max Landis. Letís hope this project comes into existence faster than the payments from any of Gentlyís clients.
Landis will pen a script for Dirk Gently, though THR doesnít make it clear whether heís only writing a pilot or if heís mapping out something larger. Itís also not obvious whether this will be a direct adaptation of 1987ís Dirk Gentlyís Holistic Detective Agency, its 1988 sequel The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul, or if it will be an entirely new story set in Adamsí wild and wonderful universe. I think Iíd even be accepting if this series was a comedic case-of-the-week procedural, assuming Gently is the same quirky psychic he is on the page.
Gently does have psychic powers, though he prefers to think of them as perfectly natural intuitive thoughts. He solves strange cases that not only involve time travel and cleverly parceled-out information, but sometimes revolve around inexplicably placed couches. I donít know if Landis has proven himself worthy of taking on the masterful wordplay of Douglas Adams, but Iím not going to write him off over it, especially since we have to wait until 2015 to get a better idea of his skills through his screenplays for Frankenstein and American Ultra.
Dirk Gently serves as the latest trip to television for both the character and IDW, who teamed up with production company Circle of Confusion last year to focus more attention on creating TV series. (They also have the upcoming V-Wars adaptation in the cards.) Both Dirk Gently novels have been adapted in BBC Radio 4 productions, and BBC4 also brought the character to the small screen for the short-lived Dirk Gently series in 2012. Check out the trailer for that project below.
My hope is that this Dirk Gently series gets picked up immediately and turns into an absolute success, so that it can lay the path for a future Hitchhikerís Guide to the Galaxy series. I think we can all agree that series of novels deserves the advantages that TV has over movies. Iíd almost argue that Gently would work better as a film, but Iíll never complain about anything Adams-related, especially if they find the perfect actor to play the titular detective.
Adams fans should also be on the lookout for Jem Robertsí The Frood: The Authorized and Very Official History of Douglas Adams & The Hitchhikerís Guide to the Galaxy, which has a wealth of deleted passages from Adamsí intergalactic laugh riot. Grab your towel and find it in stores on September 25.
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