Our Gattaca Exclusive Confirmed By The Hollywood Reporter

The Hollywood Reporter confirmed our exclusive report on a Gattaca series in development at Showtime.

By Jonathan Klotz | Updated

Ethan Hawke

Our trusted and proven sources were correct once again, as just hours after we broke the news that a Gattaca series is in development at Showtime, The Hollywood Reporter confirmed our exclusive. One of our writers here at Giant Freakin Robot wrote just two weeks ago that the 1997 dystopian sci-fi classic would be perfect as a television series, and it’s amazing how quickly we went from hoping it would happen to confirming that it is. The new series will be coming from the creators of Homeland, Howard Gordan and Alex Gansa.

As noted in our initial report, this is not the first time the film, starring Ethan Hawke, Uma Thurman, and Jude Law, has been optioned as a series. Back in 2009, Sony attempted to turn the movie into a procedural from Gil Grant, a writer on 24 and NCIS. The underrated cult-classic movie is ideal for transforming into a prestige series on a premium network as its themes of transhumanism, genetic manipulation, and a stratified society have become more relevant as technology leaps forwards every year.

In Gattaca, eugenics separates society into “valids” and “in-valids,” even if genetic discrimination is illegal; that hasn’t stopped businesses from profiling, giving the best jobs to the former and only menial labor opportunities to the latter. Ethan Hawke plays Vincent, an in-valid with a heart defect that uses samples from Jude Law‘s Jerome Morrow, a paralyzed Olympic champion swimmer that’s also a valid. Using the purloined DNA, Vincent cons his way into a job at Gattaca Aerospace Corporation, eventually being selected as a navigator for a trip to Saturn’s moon, Titan.

Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke in Gattaca

Complicating the plan is a murder at Gattaca that shines a spotlight on Vincent when an in-valid’s DNA is found at the scene of the crime. At the same time, Vincent starts romancing Uma Thurman’s Irene Cassini, a valid that has a genetic defect keeping her in the same social class as him. The tense game of cat-and-mouse between Vincent and the society trying to keep him down is exciting in its own right, but it’s how Gattaca depicts a near-future society built on eugenics that has made it a classic.

Taught in classes ever since its release, a Gattaca series on Showtime is an excellent starting point for talking about transhumanism, eugenics, and genetic discrimination. While we don’t know what the upcoming series will focus on, the setting is ripe for a neo-noir mystery while digging into the differences between the valids and in-valids. In practice, a prestige series based on Gattaca could be similar to The Handmaid’s Tale, using the near-future setting to comment on today’s growing issues around transhumanism.

Showtime may not be the network that comes to mind for a prestige series anymore, but the network recently had another hit with Christina Ricci‘s dramatic teenage survival series, Yellowjackets. Once praised for Dexter and Homeland, the cable network seems to be starting a rebrand centered on genre shows as it looks to reclaim its place in the streaming ecosystem. Re-visiting the world of Gattaca on Showtime as a prestige series is a great way to start rebuilding a once-great network.