For me, this might be the greatest single bit of good news for all-around-the-world humanity in 2020 and beyond. I live in optimism that one day, as Tom Robbins once remarked, 15% of the worlds population will know the name of Robert Anton Wilson, and have the means to explore his life’s work, affecting a new golden age, a new enlightenment.
There have been rumors of an Illuminatus! Trilogy production buzzing around for a few years now, and we have an official press release to get our dreams and strategies up and running. We dream big that this will be the mind-expanding, hilarious and dazzling first catapult of a fully loaded Robert Anton Wilson and Robert Shea, series. Yes. Wishing success and good will to all production crew, directors, actors and those who have helped this happen.
And a happy new year and success to all my followers, supporters. Cheers.
Before the X-Files, before alt.conspiracy, there was Robert Anton Wilson and his legendary Illuminatus! Trilogy.
Full press release below:
LOS ANGELES, CA– December 11, 2019 – Hivemind today announced that it has partnered with writer/director Brian Taylor (HAPPY!, CRANK) and European production company Kallisti for a new television series based on THE ILLUMINATUS! TRILOGY – the hugely influential science-fiction franchise created by authors Robert Anton Wilson & Robert Shea that first introduced the concept of “the Illuminati” into the popular consciousness, while simultaneously fueling, deconstructing, and skewering America’s modern-day obsession with conspiracy theories.
When the offices of a Manhattan news publisher are bombed, anti-authority reporter George Dorn begins to suspect that the disturbing conspiracy his editor has spent months investigating is not only real, it might be the key to unlocking all of history’s greatest unanswered mysteries. As George sets out to find his mentor and uncover the truth about an all-seeing secret society that seems to unify every insane, inane, and outlandish conspiracy theory ever told – from the JFK assassination, celebrity cabals and lost continents to UFOs, ancient gods and the truth about the New World Order – he finds himself drawn deeper into a war between two shadowy groups. On one side stand the Discordians, a clandestine band of chaos-loving guerrilla fighters led by the enigmatic modern-day pirate Hagbard Celine; and on the other, the Illuminati – elite authoritarians who secretly manipulate world events, ever expanding their wealth, influence, and physical power in a plot to escape the limitations of human existence.
ILLUMINATUS! will be executive produced by Dinesh Shamdasani and Hunter Gorinson for Hivemind, and Iris McPherson and Kirstin Winkler for Kallisti. Taylor will serve as executive producer and showrunner.
“ILLUMINATUS! is a kind of mind-blowing literary miracle… It manages to be completely seminal while as relevant today – if not more so – than the day it was published,” said Taylor. “Wilson and Shea have created a fractal-like world of conspiracy inside conspiracy that completely anticipates today’s internet-fueled, Post-Truth culture.”
A globetrotting science-fiction/conspiracy thriller laced with subversive humor, ILLUMINATUS! was first published in 1975 at the height of post-Watergate paranoia and has remained in print ever since. Often ranked alongside Frank Herbert’s DUNE, Douglas Adams’ HITCHHIKERS’ GUIDE TO THE GALAXY, and William Gibson’s NEUROMANCER as one of the most influential and obsessively followed pieces of cult science fiction ever produced, references and allusions to the series have turned up everywhere from John Carpenter’s THEY LIVE to ABC’s LOST with high-profile creators such as Philip K. Dick, Alan Moore, George Carlin, Damon Lindelof, Grant Morrison, and more citing the series as an inspiration and influence.
Celebrated as a “mind-twisting science fiction…classic for more than 30 years” by the New York Times, “the ultimate conspiracy book” by the Village Voice, and the “New Testament” of the American counterculture underground by Vice, ILLUMINATUS! has spawned nearly a dozen sequels and spin-offs, along with comic books, stage plays, radio productions, role-playing games, and more based on the original trilogy. In recent years, Kallisti has also developed an immersive ILLUMINATUS! VR experience, exploring series’ many iconic characters and settings, that has exhibited at numerous arts and technology events in the United States and Europe.
“Since acquiring the rights to this wild and unique series, we have been working on an immersive experience around THE ILLUMINATUS! TRILOGY and are thrilled to bring this beloved story to television. We couldn’t think of more ideal partners than Brian Taylor and Hivemind. The themes of this cult classic are more current than ever today, and we cannot wait to bring it to life,” said Kallisti partners Iris McPherson and Kirstin Winkler.
“The series’ staggering influence has only continued to grow with each passing year not just because it explores and indulges the most compelling depths of America’s conspiratorial imagination, but because it also gives us the tools and knowledge to understand it. If there was ever a series primed for 21st century television, it’s ILLUMINATUS!” said Hunter Gorinson, Hivemind’s VP of Brand & Content Strategy.
ILLUMINATUS! will mark Taylor’s next television project following HAPPY!, based on the Image Comics series and starring Christopher Meloni and Patton Oswalt, alongside left-field guest appearances by Jeff Goldblum, Ann-Margret, and musicians “Weird” Al Yankovic and Amanda Palmer. The series recently concluded its acclaimed run on Syfy with an 88% Rotten Tomatoes score for its final season. Taylor and Grant Morrison’s reimagining of Aldous Huxley’s BRAVE NEW WORLD is currently shooting for USA Network in London.
To be produced in collaboration with Kallisti, ILLUMINATUS! marks a major new addition to Hivemind’s rapidly expanding roster of high-profile film and television projects, which also includes Amazon’s acclaimed science-fiction series THE EXPANSE, which was recently renewed for a fifth season in advance of the fourth’s December 13th debut; Netflix’s much-anticipated adaptation of THE WITCHER starring Henry Cavill, debuting December 20th; and Sony Pictures’ feature film BLOODSHOT, starring Vin Diesel and Guy Pearce, in theaters February 21st, 2020.
Taylor is represented by Verve Talent & Literary Agency. Hivemind is represented by UTA.