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Popular science fiction novel Stranger in a Strange Land is now in development as a new television series for SyFy Channel, according to published reports this week. The 1961 novel by writer Robert Heinlein focuses on a young male human who journeys to Earth for the first time after being raised on the planet Mars.
In the original novel, Valentine Michael Smith comes to Earth after being born and raised by Martians. The novel explores his interaction with – and eventual transformation of – terrestrial culture. It predicted many of the movements and messages of the 1960’s – from free love and hippie communes, to organized attempts at world peace.
In 2012, the U.S. Library of Congress named the novel one of 88 “Books that Shaped America.” The title of the book – Stranger in a Strange Land – is an allusion to a phrase found in Bible scripture from Exodus 2:22.
According to Deadline, Paramount Television and Universal Cable Productions are developing the series with producing talent from Mythology Entertainment, Scott Rudin Productions, and Vecchio Entertainment serving as co-executive producers.
“Paramount TV is excited to have the opportunity to adapt Robert Heinlein’s seminal work of science fiction,” said Amy Powell of Paramount TV. “This novel has resonated with me since college and there’s a reason it has continued to find new fans for over forty years. Syfy’s understanding of imaginative and futuristic programming is unmatched, making them an ideal partner for this series.”
“From my point of view, Stranger in a Strange Land isn’t just a science fiction masterpiece… it also happens to be one of my favorite books ever!” explained NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment Chairman, Bonnie Hammer. “The story is timeless and resonates more than ever in today’s world. As a fan, I can’t wait to see it come to life as a world-class television event.”
No casting, production, or future air dates have been announced at this time.