An adaptation of Consider Phlebas has been reconsidered.
An Amazon Prime Video production of the first book in Iain M. Banks’ highly regarded Culture SF series will not go forward, the Guardian reports.
Amazon Studios had acquired the TV adaptation rights to the 1988 novel in early 2018, as Deadline noted at the time; Brad Pitt’s Plan B Entertainment was slated the produce the series, and Banks’ estate was named as an executive producer. (The Scottish author died in 2013 at the age of 59.)
The estate, in a statement, told the Guardian that the “timing wasn’t quite right” to pursue the adaptation, but that “the estate is hugely grateful for all the care and creative energy that went into the early stages of the project.”
Consider Phlebas painted a sweeping portrait of a war between two galactic empires: the technologically advanced Culture, run by artificial intelligences called Minds, and the deeply militaristic, three-legged Indirans. Kirkus’ review called it “a voluminous, sometimes exciting space-opera where character motivations are the most troubling of several knotty problems.”
Banks published 14 SF novels during his career, including 10 in the Culture series; the last book in that series, The Hydrogen Sonata (2012), received a Kirkus Star. The author also wrote 15 books outside the SF genre under the name Iain Banks (lacking the middle initial “M”), including his debut, The Wasp Factory (1984).
Amazon still has other major TV productions in the works based on SF and fantasy novels, including, most notably, two series based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy and Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson’s Wheel of Time fantasy novels.
David Rapp is the senior Indie editor.