Lizard Brain is a shared blog about Science Fiction and Fantasy from Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck.

Some news, and our new bestest pals

by Ty Franck

So, Alcon entertainment did a press release about their development of an Expanse TV show, written by me and Daniel’s new pals, Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby.










You can read the press release at the Variety website here.

So, yeah, this is what Daniel and I have been working on and shutting ourselves off from the world for.  We’re pretty excited to be working with these guys.  THEY INVENTED AGENT COULSON!!!!

51 Responses »

  1. That… is… awesome!

    Does this mean Daniel is out of flaky pastries?

  2. No wonder you guys didn’t reply to my post of a few days ago…

    This is amazing and wonderful news.Please tell me that all our favorite characters from the books will be in this show.

  3. You guys have to make this happen. Also please cast Gary Oldman as Detective Miller, thanks.

  4. Nathan Fillion as Holden (buy out his Castle contract)

  5. Aah how exciting! I can’t wait to hear more about the show! <3

  6. I hope they get the coach from Glee to play Bobbi the Marine. But, who could play Crisjen Avarasala (would Christiane Amanpour do fiction—I picture speaking with her accent!)?

    Should Holden be as good looking as Fillion?

    I want to hear some suggestions for the casting of Naomi.

    Anyway, this is VERY exciting news, guys!!

  7. Lucy Liu as Naomi.

    It’s not about Fillion being good looking it’s way more than that.He IS Holden.

    And of course this casting is impacted by availability two years or more from now,the willingness of actors,money which would be huge for people so far named,in fact I’m beginning to suspect this program is timed to air just at the end of the writing/printing of the six books.

    Really,it just has to be as good as the books.Look at Star Trek.It was cast with relatively low level actors of the time,not complete nobodies but not A list either,and look what happened.

    I read somewhere else about a lot of CGI needed for this.I’m not so sure with a few concessions made like null gravity body shapes.

    And dammit,money should be no object in the design of the Rocinante (a ship which should become as iconic as the Enterprise).

  8. Congratulations! But I’m a little unclear on something: “Expanse TV show, written by me and Daniel’s new pals”.

    Do you mean to say you’re a writer on the show, Ty, and that these are Daniel’s new friends? Or is that “my and Daniel’s”?

  9. Wow, this is SO cool…. and I happen to rather like the screenwriters, so I guess I’ll keep my hopes high for this…

    Now if only you can get William Fichtner (Detective Mahon from Prison Break) to play detective Miller and Joel McHale (Jeff from community) to play Holden, I promise to send you guys 1000,000$, in cash, to each of you 😛

    No, seriously though, these guys are burned into my brain as Miller and Holden. Actually seeing this happen would be so insanely cool, I wouldn’t know what to do with myself.

    • So…”McHale’s Navy?”

      But seriously…Second your motion for Holden. Hadn’t thought of that before but the more I do, the better it sounds. Not that my vote counts for squat in this.

      Funny how just about everybody sees Firefly actors in Holden and Naomi’s roles. The characters do have that kind of feel, so using either actor would probably hurt the series’ legitimacy more than help it. Who’d be able to watch it without expecting Holden to don a brown coat? And since I’m a dude notice my avoidance of any Capt. Tightypants comments…

  10. Well I think we can all take from this thread that The Expanse TV show will more or less mirror the books which is ridiculously great.

    I do have one request:Please do not let this show be another “Under The Dome”.What I mean by that is,though it is a popular program,which I certainly wish for this project for a variety of reasons,Under The Dome veers wildly from the book it is based on.

    I don’t know if you guys read the book but the show is barely following it and is a fun house mirror version of it.

    Please don’t let this happen to The Expanse.These books are perfectly capable of being the basis for a great show without a lot of ad libbing.(is that a word?)

    We’re all having fun here speculating on casting,casting that probably won’t be determined for a couple of years or something.I’m sure you teo,Ty,Daniel,will have at least some influence,your opinions will be respected.

    All that really matters is that the actors chosen nail these characters.They’re great rich full characters,warts and all,perfectly imperfect.

    All I ask is that they are respectful versions of the characters,that they are people you can see in action and say “yeah man that’s Holden or Miller or Naomi”(oh that’s three different people not the same one).

    Also look I know money matters but don’t let them go too cheap with effects.We the viewers don’t need to be convinced we are seeing something for real but we do need to get past our believability gate in our brains.Example:Falling Skies on TNT,obvious CGI stuff there but somehow it’s ok.That’s what I mean,it can be obvious but it needs to be acceptable.

    So I’m typing a lot,blame coffee,and blame excitement about a book series that is as good as I’ve ever read at being what it is becoming a TV series that has the ability to also be damn good,maybe even great.

    Here’s to the future!

  11. I’m really curious to see who will be cast as Holden. My mental image of him as I read the book is defined more by the voice I hear than the face I picture.

    And that voice is some funky Anglicized version of Rikiya Koyama (anime voice actor). It suits the character surprisingly well, though I very much doubt this is what you guys had in mind when you created him.

  12. John Barrowman could be a great Holden.

  13. Do you have any assurances your story’s wonderful gender and ethnic diversity will be kept for the TV show? Also, how would they deal with the Belter-anatomy issue: heaps of CGI? Or pretend it’s not so?

    • We don’t have anything in the contract that demands it, *but* every conversation we’ve had with the producers and the writers has included the idea of ethnic diversity being a distinct plus, and no one’s talking about genderswapping anyone into a boy.

      As to the Belters, I don’t know how they’ll do it, but I doubt it’s cgi. Maybe casting, maybe forced perspective, maybe just noting he differences in language and physical gestures. There are about a billion decisions those guys are going to have to make, and I’m really looking forward to seeing what they come up with.

      • ethnic diversity being a distinct plus, and no one’s talking about genderswapping anyone into a boy

        WOW, that is *great* news! I’m sure I don’t have to tell you how often whitewashing and genderswapping happens in Hollywood, to the point that I tend to expect it as SOP and anything else is a surprise.

        The casting for “Sleepy Hollow”, “Almost Human”, and “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D” does give me the feeling that the TV industry, at least, is starting to grasp the fact that if they’re going to hook that 18-34 demo, it helps to have a cast that *looks* like them. Movies seem to be having more trouble with this concept.

        I really hope this gets off the ground, and that it stays reasonably true to your vision.

        • “The casting for “Sleepy Hollow”, “Almost Human”, and “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D” does give me the feeling that the TV industry, at least, is starting to grasp the fact that if they’re going to hook that 18-34 demo, it helps to have a cast that *looks* like them. ”

          Not sure still though how much casting on those shows actually represent a typical person in that age demo. We’re certainly seeing more diversity and strong females, which is great – but all those characters still look like they just stepped off the cover of a Banana Republic catalogue. Okay, so I can understand that if you’re a secret agent/cop, you have to be physically fit, but in the case of Agents of SHIELD for example (which I still really like) Skye and Fitz/Simmons didn’t have to be “prototypical beautiful people.” Your average hacker (at least the ones I’ve met!) aren’t size 4 gorgeous brunettes, nor is your average biologist. And no idea how Ward was able to finish his training as an agent, since he obviously spends most of his time in the gym and/or working on his hair.

          Don’t get me wrong, not advocating that the show (or any show) needs to be completely un-glamourous, but hopefully the casting of the Expanse will be more (pun intended) down to Earth.

      • I was thinking about the multi-ethnic nature of the books and the fact that intolerance related to ethnicity isn’t present in the books,well not really though there is tension between humans from different regions of the system,but it’s not based on race it’s based on location,and on politics.

        It’s really interesting because it is like what Roddenberry did,he sent a message of future tolerance and yet at the same time the ever present aspects of human nature.

        I know nobody was thinking about this all that directly but this series sort of takes the baton from Roddenberry in that regard.A message that racial divides and intolerances fade away in the future is one that we really can’t get enough of in these times.

        And yet the other message,that humans will be humans even centuries from now isn’t all that bad of a message.As stories like this often do,this is a tale of good versus bad,properly muddled (NOT meant as a slight or insult at all)and with good ultimately triumphing.There never ceases to be a need to tell a story that sends a message of it’s better to be a decent human being than not.

        I really can’t wait for this series to arrive.Yes I know it’s some time away.I also get that this is a project with many contributors.But I do hope that the books are respected in this project,that it doesn’t veer away from them and become something they are not.

        Effects are fun but these books are about characters.

      • Forced perspective worked for Hugh Jackman in the X-Men movies (to make him appear shorter), so I suppose it may indeed work for Belters too, the other way.

        (I’ve started reading Leviathan Wakes two days ago and just can’t drop the book. It’s awesome that you can make it a show. Here’s wishing you all the best in this endeavour, and counting the days until further announcements!)

  14. I’m a geek for vehicles, and stumbled across a gallery at DeviantArt that to my mind fits the bill for Expanse spaceships:

    • Somewhere around here is a I think fan produced vision of the Rocinante that I think would be fine as the basis for it in a series.

      But there are a number of ships to figure out.

      Not to mention flying asteroids.

  15. Great news, I would have prefered a big screen series but I suppose a tv series would be good too. Need a replacement for the void Star Trek left behind. Can’t wait.


  17. Hi, Ty

    I am the Chinese translator of your series The Expanse and also a big fan. The publishing house here and I are now trying to determine the final version of some terms. I have a question about the organization “Protogen”, does “gen” comes from the word “gene” or “intelligence”?

    And the editor asks that if you or Daniel can write a preface for the Chinese version of your first book, Levithan Wakes? The Chinese version will be published in October : ) and many people are waiting to read it in China.

    And may I ask about your email address? I am translating Cliban’s War, and I think I may ask you about other terms.

    Looking forward to hearing from you.

    Your fan
    Yijun Wu