Before he directed The Invisible Man, Leigh Whannell teamed up with Blumhouse to helm the innovative sci-fi thriller 2018's Upgrade, which is now being developed as a TV series at Blumhouse Television and UCP.
Co-created and executive produced by Whannell and Tim Walsh, the Upgrade TV series will take place several years after the first movie and focus on the government's use of the highly intelligent (and highly dangerous) artificial intelligence implant known as STEM.
Whannell is currently set to direct, and the writers' room includes Krystal Ziv Houghton and James Roland from The Purge Season 2.
Stay tuned to Daily Dead for more updates, and check out the official press release below for additional details:
Press Release: Blumhouse Television and UCP, a division of NBCUniversal Content Studios, are adapting Leigh Whannell’s 2018 sci-fi, thriller Upgrade into a television series for Whannell to direct.
The series, which Whannell co-created and will executive produce along with showrunner Tim Walsh (Treadstone, Chicago P.D., Shooter), 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 - imaging a world in which the government repurposes STEM to help curb criminal activity.
A writer's room has commenced to write and adapt the series’ first season. Krystal Ziv Houghton and James Roland, who ran the second season of The Purge, have joined Whannell and Walsh.
The film, which Whannell wrote and directed, starred Logan Marshall-Green, Betty Gabriel and Harrison Gilbertson. In the film, after his wife is killed during a brutal mugging that also leaves him paralyzed, Grey Trace (Marshall-Green) is approached by a billionaire inventor with an experimental cure in the form of a computer chip implant called STEM. The implant provides its host with heightened physical abilities, allowing Grey to exact revenge on those responsible for his wife’s death. The film was produced for $5 million and grossed more than $16 million at the global box office. It was also the recipient of the 2018 SXSW Audience Award.
Leigh Whannell most recently directed The Invisible Man starring Elisabeth Moss for Blumhouse and Universal. The box office smash grossed over $122 million globally and is Certified Fresh by Rotten Tomatoes with a 91%. Previously, he wrote the first three Saw films, co-creating the lucrative horror franchise with director James Wan. Whannell recently signed a first look deal with Blumhouse for both film and television, after successful collaborations with the studio on the Insidious franchise, Upgrade and The Invisible Man. The Upgrade series is the first project to be developed under that deal.
Jason Blum (Halloween, The Good Lord Bird) and Brian Kavanaugh-Jones from Automatik will executive produce alongside Whannell and Walsh. Whannell and Walsh co-created the series. The series is a co-production between Blumhouse Television and UCP.
Blumhouse Television and UCP previously co-produced USA Network’s The Purge series as well as the upcoming The Wilderness of Error for FX.
Leigh Whannell is represented by CAA and Myman, Greenspan, Fox, Rosenberg, Mobasser, Younger & Light.
Tim Walsh is represented by Paradigm and Pacific View Management.