Amazon Studios to Adapt Consider Phlebas, First Novel of the Culture Series, for Television
Dennis Kelly set to write the series, Plan B to produce
The Culture, a fictional interstellar utopian society from author Iain M. Banks is being adapted for television for the first time, to come to life exclusively on Prime Video
SEATTLE–(BUSINESS WIRE)–(NASDAQ: AMZN)—Amazon Studios today announced it has acquired the global television rights to the Culture’s first novel Consider Phlebas. The famed space opera by Scottish writer Iain M. Banks features Banks’ fictional interstellar utopian society, the Culture. The series will be adapted by Dennis Kelly (Utopia, Matilda) with Plan B Entertainment (World War Z, 12 Years a Slave, The Big Short, Moonlight, Feud) slated to produce and the Estate of Iain Banks attached as Executive Producer.
“The story of the Culture is so rich and captivating that for years Hollywood has been trying to bring this utopian society to life on the screen”
A kinetic, action-packed adventure on a huge canvas, Consider Phlebas draws upon the extraordinary world and mythology Banks created in the Culture, in which a highly advanced and progressive society ends up at war with the Idirans, a deeply religious, warlike race intent on dominating the entire galaxy.
The story centers on Horza, a rogue agent tasked by the Idirans with the impossible mission of recovering a missing Culture ‘Mind,’ an artificial intelligence many thousands of times smarter than any human—something that could hold the key to wiping out the Culture altogether. What unfolds, with Banks’ trademark irreverent humor, ultimately asks the poignant question of how we can use technology to preserve our humanity, not surrender it.
“The story of the Culture is so rich and captivating that for years Hollywood has been trying to bring this utopian society to life on the screen,” said Sharon Tal Yguado, Head of Scripted Series at Amazon Studios. “We are honored that we have been chosen, along with Dennis Kelly and Plan B Entertainment, to make Consider Phlebas into a television series we think will be loved by fans for years to come.”
“Iain Banks has long been a hero of mine, and his innate warmth, humor and humanism shines through these novels,” said Dennis Kelly. “Far from being the dystopian nightmares that we are used to, Banks creates a kind of flawed paradise, a society truly worth fighting for—rather than a warning from the future, his books are a beckoning.”
“We revere the work of Iain Banks and continue to be moved by his inimitable spirit and his commitment to imagining a better future even in the darkest of times,” said Plan B. “Consider Phlebas, simultaneously explores the deepest questions concerning humanity and our future. We are so grateful to the Estate of Iain Banks for the opportunity to bring his work to life, and to Amazon for the scope of their ambition to building Iain’s prescient world.”