HBO Turning Classic '80s Horror Movie Into a TV Show

Amid the Warner Bros. merger and dozens of HBO and HBO Max shows being halted and cancelled, the network has a new show in development. Deadline reports that David Cronenberg's Scanners is being turned into a series. The sci-fi horror film, released in 1981, was Cronenberg's breakout hit. In the film, "scanners" are psychics with unusual telepathic and telekinetic powers. It followed character Darryl Revok, played by Michael Ironside, as a renegade scanner, to wage a war against ConSec, a weapons, and security company. Stephen Lack played another scanner Cameron Vale, and is dispatched by ConSec to stop Revok.

The movie premiered in Jan. 1981 to lukewarm reviews from critics. A review from The New York Times praised its special effects but says the plot fell flat. "[The movie] features some uproariously revolting special effects, the kind that are so outrageous they make you laugh, and the frequent use of a by-prescription-only tranquilizer trade-named Ephemerol," the review notes. "Aside from those things, though, the quality of the film's inventiveness is not always of the first order, which is too bad because Mr. Cronenberg does seem to be a director-writer of some style."

The movie became one of the first films produced in Canada to compete commercially with the American box office. The film eventually became a cult classic. For the television series adaptation, Black Mirror writer William Bridges is writing the script and will also serve as showrunner. Fellow HBO series Lovecraft Country's director Yann Demange will direct. Both will serve as executive producers of the remake.

It's not the first time Scanners have been attempted to be turned into a series. Bob Weinstein's Dimension Films attempted tried in 2011. Media Res teamed with Bron in 2017 for the remake.


Per Deadline's report, the series is set to be in a "mind-bending world" of Cronenberg's film. A logline reveals that is will show a pursuit by relentless agents with unimaginable powers, with two women living on the fringes of modern society must learn to work together to topple a vast conspiracy determined to bring them to heel.