Of all the projects on Syfy’s suddenly ambitious development slate, the one I’m most looking forward to — and most dreading they might fuck up — is The Expanse, based on the stellar book series by James S.A. Corey. The first installment, 2011’s Leviathan Wakes, instantly became one of my favorite science fiction stories of all time, and the series pretty much has it all: action, mystery, interstellar politics, humor, and a richly detailed vision of a future where mankind has spread throughout the solar system, but not yet conquered the stars. Thankfully the first trailer for The Expanse hit yesterday, and it looks great. But if you haven’t read the books yet, it’s also hard to get a full sense of who’s who and what’s going on. Well, GFR has your back: we’ve pulled a ton of screencaps and will walk you through the world of The Expanse below. First off, here’s the trailer if you haven’t seen it yet.
If you’ve read this site with any regularity over the past year or so, you’re well aware that Syfy is in the process of upping its original content game exponentially. They have more than a dozen potentially awesome sci-fi shows in various stages of development, including everything from deep space adventure to alien invasions to time travel, clones, and more. Just the other day they added an Escape From New York-sounding series, and we just came across news of another one earlier today. One of the projects we’re most excited about, however, is The Expanse, and they just delivered this new trailer.
Based on the Hugo and Locus Award winning novels of James S.A. Corey (the collective pen name of Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck), The Expanse is a thriller that takes place 200 years in the future in a fully colonized solar system. Detective Josephus Miller (Thomas Jane), is tasked with finding a missing heiress named Juliette Andromeda Mao (Florence Faivre). Unraveling the mystery takes him all over the galaxy, and he uncovers a vast conspiracy that adds strain to an already tense relationship between Earth, Mars, and the people of the asteroid belt.
Here in the States most of us are winding down a day spent eating too much, drinking too much, and likely experiencing more than a little family-related drama. Far be it from us here at GFR to play humbugs, so, as we’ve done in previous years, we sat down to ponder what science fiction developments we were most thankful for this year. So before you collapse back into a turkey-induced coma, take a moment to look back at the things that put the biggest smiles on our faces in 2014. And Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!
Everything About Edge of Tomorrow
How is it that a movie involving an alien invasion and a weird form of time travel joined forces with polarizing megastar Tom Cruise and became one of the year’s most guiltlessly enjoyable movies? Whether the credit for the sci-fi magic goes to director Doug Liman, screenwriters Jez and John-Henry Butterworth and Christopher McQuarrie, or even Cruise and co-star Emily Blunt, the film’s sense of sheer fun and darkly comedic whimsy are undeniable.
Based on the Japanese novel All You Need Is Kill, Edge of Tomorrow could have easily crumbled beneath the weight of its time-looping narrative, but manages to steer clear of weary repetition. By sticking Cruise back into a learning recruit role instead of having him start the film as the almighty hero, Edge of Tomorrow gives its lead one of the weirdest character arcs in all of fiction, which can’t be derailed by the likes of co-stars Bill Paxton and Brendan Gleeson. By far the airiest, funniest, and most exciting blockbuster of the year, Edge of Tomorrow is arguably the only must-see tentpole film of the year for sci-fi fans. (That’s right, Godzilla and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, I said it.) – Nick
No one is more shocked than the Giant Freakin’ Robot staff how much the Giant Freakin’ Robot staff is anticipating Syfy’s upcoming slate of high-potential projects. One of the top shows on that list is The Expanse, an adaptation of the highly acclaimed novel series from the dual-author James S.A. Corey. The series has rounded out its stellar cast to go with its official production start in Toronto. Nothing says outer space like Canada!
The space opera thriller is being led by Thomas Jane and Steven Strait, with Shohreh Aghdashloo also previously cast. The newbies here include Wes Chatham (The Hunger Games: Mockingjay), Dominique Tipper (Vampire Academy), Cas Anvar (Source Code), and Florence Faivre (Alpha House), who will all star as regulars. Jonathan Banks (Breaking Bad), Jay Hernandez (Gang Related), and Paulo Costanzo (Royal Pains) will enter the season as guest stars. Honestly, you put Jonathan Banks in anything, and I’m watching it.
Of the laundry list of shows and projects that Syfy is currently developing, the one we’re most excited about has to be The Expanse. The prospect of an adaptation of James S.A. Corey’s Leviathan series is a legitimately exciting one, and while the network’s track record is spotty to say the least, we can’t help but be optimistic about this one. Not only is the story and subject full of potential, but they’re also in the process of putting together a strong cast, including two more new additions.
According to Entertainment Weekly, Shohreh Aghdashloo (X-Men: The Last Stand) and Steven Strait (Magic City) have both signed on for the deep space mystery thriller. They join Thomas Jane (Punisher), who climbed on board early last month. The two newcomers may not be household names, but they bring a lot of clout and prestige. Aghdashloo won an Emmy and has been nominated for an Academy Award, and Strait has been working steadily over the last few years, increasing his profile and strengthening his resume.
If Syfy keeps making good decisions like this, I might have to stop making fun of their name, and man, is that gonna sting. First they had to go and start greenlighting all sorts of genuinely exciting stuff, such as Ascension and DMZ and Letter 44. Then they had to go and announce a series adaptation of James S.A. Corey’s The Expanse, easily my favorite new science fiction series in decades. The thought of it done well is hugely exciting…but what if they screw it up? Today, at least, I’m leaning toward optimism, because they’ve just added actor Thomas Jane to the cast, in a role he should be damn near perfect for.
The Hollywood Reporter today broke the news that Jane has landed the role of Detective Miller in The Expanse. If you’re not familiar with the books, Miller was one of the two primary protagonists in 2011’s Leviathan Wakes, the first of Corey’s Expanse novels (“James S.A. Corey” is actually a pen name for two writers, Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck.) Miller is a gruff, blue-collar cop working the beat for a corporate security force that controls much of the belt. What seems to be a simple case of a missing heiress soon leads Miller into a web of dead bodies, cover-ups, and a secret that could determine the future of mankind.