Wild Cards, a sci-fi superhero anthology novel series, built and co-edited by George RR Martin - author of A Song of Ice and Fire franchise which has been adapted into HBO's Game of Thrones - is in development at Universal Cable Productions, Martin announced on his blog over the weekend.
Martin won't be involved with the production himself though, since his own development deal remains exclusive to HBO. Instead, Wild Cards assistant editor Melinda M. Snodgrass - who has worked before on Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Command and Trapped in Space - and 2010's Red producer Gregory Noveck will serve as executive producers on the show.
The Wild Cards franchise kicked off in 1987 after Snodgrass and Martin decided to convert a long-running campaign of the Superworld role-playing game into a universe that writers would share as a common setting for their stories. Since then, 31 different writers have contributed in total, leading to 22 published volumes over the years. High Stakes, the 23rd entry, is set to be published later in August.
Describing the series, Martin said: "The shared world of the Wild Cards diverged from our own on September 15, 1946 when an alien virus was released in the skies over Manhattan, and spread across an unsuspecting Earth. Of those infected, 90% died horribly, drawing the black queen, 9% were twisted and deformed into jokers, while a lucky 1% became blessed with extraordinary and unpredictable powers and became aces. The world was never the same."
Development on the Wild Cards TV series will start in the coming months, and Martin expects that it will reach audiences "in the next year or two".