As a nation, we used to be really into codes and messages hidden inside of American symbolism, which turned Dan Brown’s 2003 novel The Da Vinci Code into a mega-bestseller. But times have changed, and now we’re totally into the government treating our privacy like garbage. So it makes perfect sense that 20th Century Fox and Ron Howard and Brian Grazer’s Imagine Entertainment are heading back in Brown’s library to turn his techno-thriller Digital Fortress into a TV series. Don’t tell the government I said that about them.
ABC has given Digital Fortress a put pilot, meaning the network has to show audiences a pilot, with a stiff penalty attached if they don’t. And given how well adaptations of Brown’s work have done on the big screen, it’s silly to think ABC will balk on this topical project. Unless someone stops them for saying too much.
Digital Fortress centers on the cat-and-mouse relationship between an NSA cryptographer named Susan Fletcher and a former NSA employee named Ensei Tankado, who is putting the government’s most consequential secrets up for auction. He has his own stiff penalties attached if he should be killed. There are double-crossers and twists throughout, and it deals with a lot of – you guessed it – questions of governmental superiority when it comes to information.
According to Deadline, the pilot is being written by Outlaw Country’s Rachel Abramowitz and Josh Goldin, the latter of which also co-wrote Sam Raimi’s Darkman.The pilot is going to make the premise sexy, because coding is sexy. Guys, it seems like someone sexy, a programmer perhaps, has taken over this sexy site and is making me sexy write this.
Will Ron Howard get directly involved with the pilot? He’s currently on the road to directing Tom Hanks once more for the Brown adaptation Inferno. That’s been a slow-moving project, given Howard’s work on the waterbound drama Heart of the Sea, but it's still possible that he can fit a pilot into his schedule. All I want to know is when his next Arrested Development narration is coming.
In other news, ABC and Imagine are also teaming up on a single-camera comedy based on the book The Brainy Bunch: The Harding Family’s Method to College Ready By Age Twelve by matriarch Mona Lisa Harding. Based on this amazingly gifted family of overachievers, the project would set the genius fam within Orange County, where looks are far more important than smarts. Wendy and Lizzie Molyneux, writers on Fox’s consistently excellent Bob’s Burgers, are penning the pilot’s script.
Are you guys ready to relive Edward Snowden on ABC with a completely fabricated storyline? Stay tuned for casting info on this code-ally awesome sounding adaptation.