David Cronenberg's 'Scanners' May Be Reborn As A TV Show

The once-proposed theatrical remake of David Cronenberg's Scanners is evidently turning into a TV show. The 1981 film most famous for its exploding head opening (and less famous for Stephen Lack's toneless but oddly appropriate performance) has already spawned a couple of shoddy sequels. So this isn't quite the unwelcome spin-off that, for instance, a sequel to Videodrome might be.

In fact, Scanners is the sort of story that could very easily support an extended TV narrative. It posits a society in which one company has developed a drug which, given to pregnant women, will bring out the psychic power inherent in their children. The powerful adult 'scanners' are broken into factions working with and against the company, which is enough of a beginning for a show. Get more details about the plan after the break. 

Deadline has the news, saying that Dimension Films is developing the series now, with Alexandre Aja (High Tension, The Hills Have Eyes) as exec producer and a possible pilot director. We don't have much more info than that at this point. Since Mr. Aja is better with gore than character, I'm not sure what his involvement might mean for the series, but he isn't the name that I'd think of first; leave it at that.

If this goes forward, it would be the second TV series spun off from one of David Cronenberg's films. The Dead Zone, which aired from '02 to '07, spun off from his 1983 film adaptation of Stephen King's novel.

And while we're on the topic of Scanners, Netflix users might take a moment to check out Brian De Palma's The Fury, which is now streaming. It is a definite precursor to Scanners, and actually features an explosive scene that is far more extreme than Cronenberg's, if less powerful in the context of the story.