While producer Gale Anne Hurd may not always be involved with sci-fi projects, the ones she does sign up for are almost always worth your time. The Terminator and Aliens producer’s cred skyrocketed in the last few years with the success of AMC’s The Walking Dead (and the fact that she was never ousted from her duties), so she’s been heavy on the project development front recently. Her latest task is adapting the Whitley Strieber novel Alien Hunter as a thriller pilot for Syfy that will simply be called Hunters. I’m really hoping for something amazing with this one, even though it sounds incredibly by-the-books.
Alien Hunter, which just hit bookstores in August, centers on Flynn Carroll, a Pennsylvania detective who becomes a suspect after the suspicious disappearance of his wife. Determined to prove himself innocent by figuring out who took her, he stumbles onto a conspiracy, finding evidence that dangerous alien cells are living all over the place. It turns out the U.S. government has a super-secret organization that was created as a defense against extraterrestrial threats. I’m guessing everyone teams up after some initial huffing and puffing.
The script for the 90-minute NBCUniversal pilot is being penned and executive produced by Natalie Chaldez, who has written and produced for such shows as Heroes, Necessary Roughness, and V. She also wrote for Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, linking her career to Hurd’s in a small way.
“It’s based on Whitley Strieber, who’s most well-known for Communion,” Hurd told The Hollywood Reporter. “He’s a person incredibly well spoken, incredibly bright and incredibly knowledgeable. He had an encounter, and it changed his life — in good ways and in not so good ways.”
She also makes sure to point out that the book fiction, which might seem strange on its face, but Strieber has long since held to the story that he was abducted by unknown non-human entities back in 1985. This was years after he gained literary success with the horror novels The Wolfen and The Hunger, both of which were turned into so-so feature films. While he has continued writing fiction over the last few decades, Strieber has also written a series of autobiographical works focusing on his experiences with what he calls “the Visitors.” The first of those books, the aforementioned Communion, was turned into a 1989 film with Christopher Walken playing Strieber himself.
Currently in development, Alien Hunters is one of two series Hurd is bringing to Syfy, the other is the space drama Clandestine. She’s also working on the WWII conspiracy drama Horizon for USA Network, the model drama Dirty/Pretty for E!, and the stuntman drama Crash & Burn for FX.
Want to get to know Strieber a little bit better? Check out the Biography special below.