Fans of Justin Cronin's popular sci-fi trilogy The Passage are likely eager for updates on the planned adaptation for the story. It was originally supposed to be a movie, but has since been shifted to a potential TV series. We've put together as much information as we could dig up on the topic.
What is The Passage?
Published in 2010, The Passage is the first book in a trilogy by Justin Cronin, which follows the start of an apocalypse triggered by government experimentation that leads to a vampire-like outbreak. The story begins with the start of that mayhem, then jumps decades ahead to what's left of humanity as they attempt to maintain some semblance of civilization and avoid death or infection by terrifying virals. More on that in a bit.
Wasn't The Passage supposed to be a movie?
Yes, The Passage was originally lined up to be made into a movie. As of 2011, Matt Reeves was signed on to direct, and a script was in the works. As it often takes years to develop a book to the screen, it's not entirely surprising that updates were few and far between. At some point, the status of the adaptation's medium changed. Back in May, author Justin Cronin mentioned in an interview that the planned Passage movie was actually being eyed for a "major television event" through FOX studios. And from what Cronin says, it sounds like he thinks TV is the right format for the story.
So, The Passage will be a TV Show?
Technically, right now, The Passage is a TV pilot in the works. If all goes well, it'll be a TV series. As of November 2016, Fox gave The Passage a pilot production commitment. Friday Night Lights' Liz Heldens and Felicity co-creator Matt Reeves are among the executive producers, along with David W. Zucker and Ridley Scott (through Scott Free Productions. Reeves is also on board to direct.
When will The Passage air?
It needs to be picked up to series before we know that. Right now, The Passage has a pilot production commitment, which means that FOX has signed on for the pilot to be made, and in all likelihood, it will. The network would have to pay a fee if they backed out.
The pilot will then be presented to FOX, and the network will decide whether or not they want to move forward to it. Given the sci-fi and post-apocalyptic elements, budget is likely to be a big factor in FOX's decision as to whether or not to send this adaptation to series. So for now, fingers' crossed that the pilot is a winner and FOX is willing to take a chance on another sci-fi series. We'll update once we know the status of the project.
What is The Passage about?
The book begins at the start of the end of the world as we know it. A government experiment leads to a vampiric viral outbreak, which drastically depletes the population. Cut to the future, a century or so later, when humanity is clustered together in random places, trying not to get attacked by virals (the people who were turned by the virus). At the heart of the story is a girl named Amy, who could be the key to saving humanity. Other characters factor in, and Cronin takes his time to fill us in on their backgrounds throughout the books.
And that's about as specific as I'll get on the plot. By the pilot's description, it sounds like the concept of the show would be similar or the same as it is in the book, in starting at our present, and jumping ahead to the distant future. Of course, there's always a chance (a likely one) that character, timelines and other subplot elements will be adjusted to suit the adaptation. These things are rarely page-for-page adaptations, after all.
Is The Passage better off as a TV show?
Honestly, I think it is. The Passage author Justin Cronin takes his time in introducing new characters and laying out their stories to give us a sense of who they are, and what motivates them. A TV series would ideally give Liz Heldens and the other writers the opportunity to pay a relatively similar amount of attention on the characters, so that the series can be a thriller, a horror, and a story of human survival all at once.
Who will star in The Passage?
No casting for the pilot has been announced yet, but we're eager to learn who's lined up for the key roles. In the pre-virus time period, there's Bradford Wolgast, the FBI agent tasked with tracking down young Amy and bringing her in, and Sister Lacey, the nun who forms an instant connection with the child. And then there's the neutered Lawrence Grey, who's among those working in the facility that serves as the starting point of the virus. In the post-apocalyptic timeframe, key roles to be cast are First Colony members Peter Jaxon, his brother Theo, the tough Alicia Donadio, along with Mausami Patel, her father Sanjay, Caleb "Hightop" Jones and Hollis Wilson.