Weaveworld TV series

Weaveworld is one of Clive Barker‘s earlier novels; it’s a huge, super-weird fantasy story packed with magic, bizarre creatures and some unusual sex. Now there’s going to be a Weaveworld TV series, and Barker is an exec producer. But since the show is in development for The CW, some of the signature elements of Weaveworld, the novel, are probably going to have to go. Which ones? Well, based on the plot description we have at this point, it’s hard to tell, but we make some guesses below.

Deadline reports, and repeats the plot setup is for the TV version, which will be written and produced by Jack Kenny of Warehouse 13:

In the TV adaptation, an app designer teams up with a young pastry chef who has just discovered that she is destined to be guardian of a mythological realm that can be accessed through a portal in an old Savannah mansion. Together, they fight an epic battle with evil forces who are vying for control of the magical world.

That’s somewhat different from the book. In the novel, which is set (mostly) in the UK, a pretty regular young guy sees a vision of a fantastic realm within a carpet while trying to recover one of his father’s racing pigeons. That encounter leads him to a young woman, the granddaughter of the carpet’s owner, and then to a difficult and often painful adventure.

See, the carpet is like a .zip file that contains compressed bits of a fantastic realm defined by magic that was forced to hide itself from the world after attack from a creature known as the Scourge. (The true story about the Scourge is awesome, but I won’t detail it here.) The man and woman are entrusted with the carpet and endeavor to keep the world within safe, aided by a few of its magical inhabitants who are thrust into our world when a small corner of the carpet is torn away.

There are enemies beyond the Scourge, too — a witch-like woman and her two very unusual sisters, who are both original inhabitants of the magic land within the carpet, a human working with them, and a very determined right-wing cop. The novel’s journey goes all over the countryside, into the byways of the magical land, and to one of the most desolate spots on Earth.

(I’m over-simplifying for the sake of spoiler avoidance, but hopefully you get the idea.)

The broad scope of the series could retain the basic elements of the novel, but the darkest, most strikingly unusual concepts — particularly with some of the enemy characters — will almost certainly be toned down. More than anything else I’m curious to know if this is designed as an open-ended series, because the arc of Weaveworld‘s story is dramatic, and to draw out the opening and middle sections without a clear indication of timing for the big endgame would be a shame.

There are also a couple movements in the novel that are out of the ordinary, in the way that characters shift in prominence throughout the story. That’s something TV can do better than, say, a film, but I also wouldn’t be surprised to see some changes on that front. In short, I’d expect the show to keep the “people protecting and/or chasing a hidden magical land” core, and modifying much of the rest. That said, I love the novel, and I’ll be curious to see what Kenny comes up with here.

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