HBO to pop some heads with David Cronenberg-produced Scanners TV show

·2 min read
David Cronenberg
David Cronenberg

Some younger internet users may be surprised to learn that Scanners is the name of a movie and not the name of an animated GIF, but now it’s also going to be the name of a TV show… a TV show based on the animated GIF that’s based on the movie. (Actually, even knowing Scanners as an internet meme is positively ancient at this point, so maybe it has looped back around to being better known as a movie?)

Anyway, David Cronenberg’s 1981 horror/sci-fi/X-Men movie Scanners is getting adapted into a TV show for HBO, according to The Hollywood Reporter, with Emmy-winner Black Mirror writer William Bridges serving as showrunner and Lovecraft Country pilot director Yann Demange directing. Cronenberg himself is also on board as one of the executive producers.

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The original movie was set in a world where certain people have telepathic and telekinetic powers. Called Scanners, some of them work for a terrorist named Revok (Michael Ironside) who wants to take over the world while others work for a secret organization that’s trying to stop him. At one point, Revok assassinates a man by making his head explode, and it’s cool and gross and very Cronenberg.

Rather than a straight adaptation of the movie, HBO’s Scanners will actually be a “visceral thriller set in the mind-bending world of Cronenberg’s film,” focusing on two women who are “living on the fringes of modern society” while being hunted by “relentless agents with unimaginable powers.” Based on that, it seems like this might be a classic flip-flop reboot, with the people who were bad guys in the movie now being the good guys (sort of like how HBO’s Westworld specifically made humans the scary killers rather than robots), but we’re just curious to know how hard HBO is going to go with the effects. We’ll put up with some CG-enhanced vein-popping and stuff, but make a thing called Scanners based on David Cronenberg’s Scanners and everybody’s going to want to see a head explode using practical effects. Hell, maybe the first scene of the show should be a head exploding?

In other Cronenberg news, he recently teased his next film after Crimes Of The Future, saying it will be called The Shrouds and that—despite starring famous French people Vincent Cassel and Léa Seydoux, it will not be “a French film.” That comes from Deadline, which also quotes him as saying that it will be a “very personal project” for him and that people who know him will recognize that “parts of it are autobiographical.” He’s planning to shoot in in Toronto next year.