George R.R. Martin is a very busy man these days. The final season of Game of Thrones is coming next year, the Syfy show based on his space thriller Nightflyers is set to begin airing next month, he's working on an animated movie about an ice dragon (makes sense), he's helping out with the spinoffs based on Game of Thrones that are coming and he really should be trying to wrap up the little book series that HBO's immensely popular fantasy show is based on. Now, the proposed series based on Martin's Wild Cards universe has taken a big step forward.
Hulu is near a deal to secure the rights to the Wild Cards universe in a deal that would bring multiple shows to the streamer based on the book series edited by George R.R. Martin and Melinda Snodgrass. Hulu is also in the process of opening a writer's room for the different shows, which would create a shared universe for at least two, if not more, Wild Cards-based shows. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the two series that are currently under consideration will be written by Andrew Miller (The Secret Circle), with Martin, Snodgrass and Vince Gerardis on board to executive produce all the shows that eventually come from this deal.
For the uninitiated, Wild Cards is set in the present and takes place after an alien virus, which was released in 1940, has decimated the population. While 90 percent of those who were infected died, those who survived the virus either developed terrible physical deformities (most of the survivors) or gained superhuman powers (a very small number of survivors). This Wild Card virus is actually passed down in families and can go undetected until it manifests suddenly when the infected is exposed to a traumatic event, whereupon the infected will either be killed, become deformed or develop superpowers.
The effect of the virus is largely determined by the victim's emotional state, making them extremely vulnerable at a deep, personal level. After decades of being ignored, worshipped, exploited or oppressed (depending on how the virus impacts them) the victims are finally looking to take their own futures into their hands.
Wild Cards is very different from your typical book series, mostly because it's really not a typical book series. While 27 books have been released to date (with others in the works) starting in 1987, the Wild Cards universe also includes comics, graphic novels, role playing games, anthologies, mosaic novels and stand-alone stories written by a wide collection of authors, with Martin and Snodgrass (who both came up with the framework for the universe) serving as editors. Really, at this point, with so much source material to draw from, there's no reason why a shared television universe of multiple shows shouldn't be set up.