Further proof that late author Douglas Adams‘ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy stands the test of time among the literary genre greats, Hulu is developing a new streaming series based on it, along with Lost co-creator Carlton Cuse and Wonder Woman writer Jason Fuchs. If this series happens, it will put Hitchhiker on the same level as or even beyond J.R.R. Tolkien‘s Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit in terms of being adapted into other media.
Deadline broke the story about the series in development with not a ton of information except that it’s being developed by ABC Signature, which is a division of Disney, just like Hulu now is, along with Cuse’s Genre Arts. Apparently, both Cuse and Fuchs, who is writing the pilot, are huge fans of Adams’ work.
On the surface, Adams’ beloved work is about a British man named Arthur Dent who goes on an adventure through space and time after Earth is destroyed by an alien race called the Vogons. Along the way, it deals with a lot of sociopolitical issues of the times in an amusing way.
Hitchhiker’s Giude actually began life as a BBC radio play back in 1978 with Simon Jones as the voice of Dent, but the 1979 novel The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy led to four others written by Adams and a fifth book written by Eoin Colfer (Artemis Fowl). It also led to a 1981 British television series on the BBC with the same cast as the radio play, making it a British staple throughout that decade as it was adapted into a number of stage plays as well.
Walt Disney Pictures originally got involved with making and releasing a 2005 movie based on Adams’ work with Martin Freeman (The Hobbit, Black Panther) playing Arthur Dent with a cast that included Sam Rockwell, rapper Mos Def, Zooey Deschanel, the late Alan Rickman and Warwick Davis, directed by Garth Jennings (Sing). (I know about this because I did the junket for the movie!)
Oh, yeah, there’s also video games and yes, even a series of ’90s DC Comics based on Adams’ work, so it continues to be a well-cited series with a devout fanbase kept alive and sated by new adaptions and radioplays in the early ’00s.
What’s interesting about Hulu developing a series is that the streaming giant could very well go even deeper into the world of Adams’ books by having the flexibility of doing it as a series rather than a 2-hour movie. It’s probably a similar thought process that has gone into Amazon making a new series based on Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings.
Besides having success with Lost, Cuse has successfully made shows like Bates Motel (based on the 1960 Hitchcock thriller Psycho) and a current Jack Ryan series running on Amazon with John Krasinski. Cuse has also been working on developing a series based on Joe Hill‘s Locke and Key.