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The creators of Showtime's upcoming Masters of Horror anthology series told SCI FI Wire that they are developing a second show: Masters of Sci-Fi, which will adapt famous SF stories for TV. Producer Keith Addis said that he hopes to get the show on the air by the fall of 2006, though no network has picked up the idea just yet.

Addis said that the SF anthology will begin by adapting some of the best-known short stories of SF, including works by Harlan Ellison, Robert A. Heinlein, Polish writer Stanislaw Lem (author of Solaris) and Ray Bradbury.

Addis and his partners, Brad Mendelsohn and Andrew Deane, picked stories that fit their budget and that "have the potential to be the most satisfying hours of television that can be produced wonderfully without cutting corners," Addis said. He added: "We really want to do the very best material with as much integrity as humanly possible."

Michael Tolkin (The Player) will adapt Heinlein's "Jerry Was a Man." John Milius (Conan the Barbarian) will rework Lem's "The Hunt." Bradbury will adapt his story "Dark They Were, and Golden-Eyed." Similarly, Ellison will adapt his short story, "'Repent, Harlequin!' Said the TicktockMan," Addis said.

For his part, Ellison expressed enthusiasm for the project. "Scripts are, in a hundred ways, more difficult and stylistically [demanding] than a straight story," he said in a separate interview. "It takes a conscious paradigm shift in thinking to adapt something from narrative to visual media. With only a half dozen exceptions in my 40-plus years [in Hollywood], I've never allowed anyone else to stir my porridge. And as far as 'Repent, Harlequin!' is concerned, well, even I consider this gig to be a ball-buster. I wouldn't trust it to anyone else. If anyone should fail at the task, it ought to be me, just to be fair."

Ellison added that he's in the process of signing a contract for the show. "I've turned down half a dozen requests to purchase ['Repent, Harlequin!'], one of which came from Michael Jackson," he said. "But Keith Addis seems to be a straight arrow. He's very smart, which is a wonderful sea change from other people I've worked with who have the intellectual capacity of an edamame bean. So I sort of talked myself into it."

Taken from scifi.com
 
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