UPGRADE: Leigh Whannell’s Explosive Sci-Fi Action Horror Lands A TV Sequel Series
Leigh Whannell’s 2018 Blumhouse-produced hit sci-fi action thriller, Upgrade, is officially headed for television. Whannell directed the SXSW Audience Award-winner, which centers on a tetraplegic imbued with STEM, an advanced A.I. tech that enables him to physically carry out his own campaign against the four supersoldiers that injured him and killed his wife, only to put him face to face with an even more nefarious conspirator.
As Deadline‘s own Nellie Andreeva exclusively reports, Whannell, fresh off directing a reboot of The Invisible Man for Universal Pictures, is returning to direct the series, on which he will serve as co-creator and executive producer with Tim Walsh (Treadstone). Per the report, Upgrade, in its series form “picks up a few years after the events of the film and broadens the universe with an evolved version of STEM and a new host – imagining a world in which the government repurposes STEM to help curb criminal activity.”
The 2018 film’s biggest seller from the offset of its SXSW premiere was the action which showcases actor Logan Marshall-Green performing much of the screenfighting content himself. The action especially levels-up on the gore for many of those scenes, which also include actors Ben Hardie and Chris Kirby. The film also starred Betty Gabriel, Harrison Gilbertson and Kai Bradley, with Simon Maiden as the voice of STEM. No word yet on who will join or reprise for the new series.
Moreover, Blumhouse Television and Universal Content Productions have reportedly formed a writers room that teams Whannel and Walsh up with Krystal Ziv Houghton and James Roland following their work on USA Network’s season two of The Purge series, also based on Blumhouse’s on-going hit film franchise (a fifth feature film, The Forever Purge, is already on par from director Everardo Gout, though a release date still remains pending following the Coronavirus pandemic).
Blumhouse’s Jason Blum is also on board as exec producer alongside Brian Kavanaugh-Jones of Automatik (Gretel & Hansel, Honey Boy).
Native New Yorker. Lover of all things pizza, chocolate, pets, and good friends. Karaoke hero. Left of center. Survivor. Fond supporter of cult, obscure and independent cinema - especially fond of Asian movies and global action cinema. Author of the bi-weekly Hit List. Founder and editor of Film Combat Syndicate. Still, very much, only human.
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