Culture

Will Syfy's 'Brave New World' Adaptation Live Up to Novel?

Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World has been cited far less frequently than George Orwell’s 1984 whenever someone seeks to make a point about oppressive government. It’s easy to see why. Orwell’s dystopia proves far more dramatic, with boots all but literally smashing faces. But Huxley’s novel has proved for more prescient.

To a large extent, we live in the drug-addled sex-crazed Brave New World which Huxley imagined, made docile by our hollow pursuits and controlled far more through positive reinforcement than brute force. In fact, we’ve come so close to precisely mimicking the conditions outlined in the novel, that a fictional depiction seems strangely challenging.

Nevertheless, that’s what we’re getting from the Syfy network. From Deadline:

Batman vs. Robin scribe Grant Morrison and Brian Taylor (Crank) have been tapped to adapt Aldous Huxley’s novel Brave New World for Syfy, Universal Cable Productions and Amblin TV. They will also executive produce, along with Amblin TV’s Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey.

… Considered one of the most influential genre classics of all time and named fifth among the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th Century by Modern Library, the 1931 novel looks 632 years into the future and anticipates new developments in reproductive technology, sleep-learning, psychological manipulation and classical conditioning that combine to profoundly change society.

It remains to be seen whether this adaptation will dare to be relevant or paint a by-the-numbers dystopian fiction in the vein of The Hunger Games or Divergent. Syfy hasn’t been shy about political and cultural commentary before. So here’s hoping we get something provocative.