EXCLUSIVE: The Dispatcher, created by author John Scalzi, started life as an Audible audiobook narrated by Zachary Quinto.
It is now being adapted for the small-screen after producer Uri Singer, the producer behind Netflix’s feature film adaptation of Don DeLillo’s Underworld, acquired the rights.
The Dispatcher takes place in Chicago in a distant future in which it becomes almost impossible to murder anyone – 999 times out of a thousand, anyone who is intentionally killed comes back. The ongoing series follows Tony Valdez, a Dispatcher – a licensed, bonded professional whose job is to humanely dispatch those about to die, so they can have a second chance to avoid the reaper. He teams up with Chicago PD detective, Nona Langdon, to help save those at death’s crosshairs and solve the crimes that put them there.
It is written by Scalzi, the former president of the Science and Fiction Fantasy Writers of America, who has written novels including Redshirts and the Old Man’s War series, and who has had three of his short stories adapted as part of Netflix’s Love, Death, & Robots. The streamer is also developing Old Man’s War.
It marks an expansion by Singer, whose other production credits include Ethan Hawke’s Tesla and Geena Davis and Jon Hamm-fronted Marjorie Prime, into sci-fi, having previously developed a niche of turning literary classics into films.
The rights to the novel were obtained from Joel Gotler at the Intellectual Property Group, who reps John Scalzi. Singer is repped by Carissa Knol at Knol Law PC.
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