Netflix announced today that Shonda Rhimes and Matt Reeves will co-develop a feature film and television adaptation of Blake Crouch (Dark Matter, Wayward Pines)’s upcoming sci-fi novel, Recursion. Reeves and Rhimes have both signed landmark development deals with the streaming giant since last year. Despite ongoing speculation about the Netflix’s accumulating costs from its original productions, they’ve achieved massive critical and audience success and don’t appear to be slowing down.
Rhimes shocked Hollywood last year when she announced that she was ending her fifteen year relationship with ABC television and moving over to Netflix. This doesn’t include Shondaland’s legacy ABC hits Grey’s Anatomy and How To Get Away With Murder, or its freshly developed Station 19 and For The People. Her reported adaptation of the Anna Delvey story for Netflix is also still in the works. Meanwhile, following the box office success of Planet of the Apes, Reeves may be ready to move ahead with Warner Bros. much-discussed The Batman. He’s also involved in Andy Serkis’ film adaptation of George Orwell’s Animal Farm. The novel Recursion isn’t expected to be published until June 2019.
In a statement, Netflix detailed that Recursion’s story explores what humanity would do with technology that can isolate and modify memories, and the resulting consequences. The studio described it as a genre-blending thriller, bundling mystery, science fiction and romance together into a detective drama. No stranger to romance and mystery, Rhimes stated:
“Projects like this are why I came to Netflix. The opportunity to explore a multi-genre universe in innovative ways is extremely exciting. Matt and Blake both have the tremendous ability to build compelling characters and imaginative landscapes and I am thrilled to work alongside them.”
Known for his sinister worlds and dark plot twists, Crouch called himself a fan of both Rhimes and Reeves in his own statement, and expressed his excitement for a Netflix adaption – which the author credited as today’s ideal home for innovative TV and film adaptations. A TV version of Crouch’s Wayward Pines (Matt Dillon) ran for two seasons on Fox, while a small screen take on his novella series Good Behavior is currently running on TNT.
Despite having very different project portfolios, Rhimes and Reeves have consistently achieved success by bringing deep levels of character development and resonance to their work. Even as more and more TV shows have begun to break away from procedural structures, Grey’s Anatomy has gone on strong for fifteen seasons because of its constant prioritization of diverse and compelling characters. Reeves has likewise managed to generate new excitement for Planet of the Apes and The Batman, even though they’ve spawned numerous films across the decades. With huge dark science fiction successes like Black Mirror and Stranger Things already under their belt, facilitating this creative powerhouse combination has unprecedented potential for Netflix.