Heavy Metal is teaming up with author Blake Northcott to bring the Arena Mode Saga to the small screen. The sci-fi thriller series is in active development. The author of the trilogy has said she always saw the novels cinematically in her mind and as a series. She’s been excited about this new forward momentum for the world she’s created and getting to work with a legendary brand like Heavy Metal. The author herself is part of the team developing the adaptation. She shared her excitement on her Instagram account after the public announcement was made through Deadline.
The author posted that this new adaptation with Heavy Metal was ten years in the making. She doesn’t mean the actual development of the television show, but her work to get the Arena Mode novels published, build an audience, and now this partnership. She published the trilogy with the help of a Kickstarter. The series became the most-funded sci-fi series on the platform of all time. It earned over $35k from 948 backers. The first book went on to be nominated for a British Science Fiction Association award.
Heavy Metal is a long-standing brand for science-fiction fans. Starting in 1977 with a magazine, they publish science-fiction and fantasy comics with a darker edge than something you’ll see from DC Comics or Marvel. Today, they have their magazine, comics, and a podcast network. They became well-known on the screen with their 1981 movie Heavy Metal. That animated film had big talent behind it, including Eugene Levy, Harold Ramis, Ivan Reitman, and John Candy. The publisher was involved with developing the movie, which was a series of animated films based on stories from the magazine. In the year 2000, they released a sequel called Heavy Metal 2000.
Since then, stories from the magazine have been adapted. There has been a lot of conversation about Heavy Metal projects in the time since. A lot of that conversation has revolved around work in the magazine being adapted, as has been done in the past. This new television project from Heavy Metal Entertainment will help push the brand further in new directions by working with Blake Northcott to adapt her novels.
Northcott has been a growing voice in the science-fiction and fantasy world. She has worked with DC Comics on Catwoman. She has released other novels since finishing Arena Mode. Northcott has also worked with Heavy Metal Entertainment on her series titled SYNAP$E. That work for the magazine helped her develop the relationships there. The CEO of the company, Matthew Medney, has said that he was particularly impressed with Northcott’s ability to see story “beyond the written word”. He felt that her eye for the wider scope would be valuable and this helped push him to work toward this new series.
Currently, the series is in development. Producers are involved, Heavy Metal is committed, and the original author is working on her vision. We’ll have to keep an eye out for more news on how production is progressing and where this project will eventually air.