If you’re a fan of seeing clones on your television set, you’re in luck, because BBC America’s Orphan Black won’t be the only option you have for much longer. NBC, Amazon, and super producer Jerry Bruckheimer are all getting in on the act together, developing an adaptation of Heather Hildenbrand’s clone-based digital novel Imitation.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the series just got a script commitment from the network, and there is a solid team in place to continue to push this forward. Matt Morgan and Ian Sobel, who worked on the From Dusk ‘Til Dawn series on El Rey, will write the adaptation and executive produce, with Bruckheimer, Alloy Entertainment, and Warner Bros. on board to provide logistical production support. Alloy is also responsible for releasing Hildenbrand’s novel through Amazon Publishing as a part of their “digital-first” imprint, and this is their first TV sale.
First published back in July, and with a sequel, Deviation, scheduled for release later this month on December 30, Imitation is set in a world where human clones not only exist but are used by the wealthy to maintain their status and to provide useful functions like being an organ farm or standing in for the original in dangerous circumstances. The story focuses on Ven, a clone of an 18-year-old Raven Rogen, who is forced into a mysterious, hazardous situation she doesn’t fully understand. There also appears to be a good deal of romance to be had (Hildenbrand’s background looks like it falls in the paranormal romance field), if you’re into that sort of thing.
There’s some definite potential in this concept, with room for tons of action, intrigue, and awkward situations of mistaken identity and where people who look exactly the same come into contact with each other. That’s always good for a lark.
The way the set up with Alloy and Amazon works, as least as I understand it, is that the deal basically gives Alloy first dibs on authors they cherry pick from various Amazon platforms and develops their projects for film, television, and other formats. Though this is their first, you can bet it isn’t going to be their last, and even though this is going a more traditional TV route, with a network and all, you have to imagine that, as other nontraditional outlets become increasingly prominent in the entertainment landscape, that we’ll see an entirely digital series or two before long.
Right now, Imitation just has a script in the works, so we’ll have to wait and see if NBC, or possibly someone else, shows any interest in pursuing this project further.