Darren Aronofsky took a step toward television earlier this summer with a deal to direct the pilot episode of HBO’s Hobgoblin, and now it seems he’s looking to further branch out in the medium. His company, Protozoa Pictures, has just optioned the rights to Daryl Gregory‘s novel Pandemonium with the intention of turning it into a television series. [UPDATE: According to a recent update, Aronofsky’s reps are denying reports of the book’s acquisition. However, the author himself has already written about the acquisition on his personal website, so it’s not clear what’s going on. Original story follows.]

The book takes place in an alternate timeline in which scientists have carefully recorded thousands of cases of demonic possession since the 1950s. Seems to me like a great fit for Aronofsky’s style. Read more after the jump.

The story follows a 20something man named Del Pierce who was possessed by a demon at the age of 5. In most cases within this universe, demons tend to move quickly from person to person, so Del’s case is unusual — his demon has remained with him for years. When Del decides he finally wants to get rid of the Hellion, he has to undergo a dangerous journey that takes him through his own repressed memories. It sounds like the book is as much psychological thriller as straightforward horror story — a perfect fit for the director of Pi, Requiem for a Dream, and Black Swan.

In a blog post titled “Pandemonium, the television show” (via Blastr), Gregory reacted to the announcement:

Maybe. Perhaps. Probably not.

Publishers Marketplace just announced it, and Tim Pratt outed me on twitter, so I suppose I should acknowledge it here — Darren Aronofsky (you know, that Black Swan guy? Who is brilliant?) and his company, Protozoa Pictures, picked up the option for Pandemonium, with an eye toward making it into a TV show. This is just an option, the first step in a staircase of a million steps, and options that make it all the way to the small or large screen are the exception rather than the rule. The rare exception, I’ve been told. So don’t get too excited, Mom.

And I know what you’re thinking — why can’t you just enjoy it when something positive happens? It’s in my nature to immediately pop any balloon of good news, but today I will merely deflate it a little, by inhaling its rich, helium like gasses, and then talk in a funny voice for the rest of the day.

Sounds like an incorrigible pessimist — a man after my own heart.

In all seriousness, of course, Gregory’s right. Plenty of properties get optioned for film or television projects that never go anywhere, and even those that do can take a long, long time to get there. We also don’t know at this point exactly how much and in what capacity Aronofsky will be involved in the development of the series. Still, it’s worth keeping an eye on the project. If it ever does get off the ground, the combination of Aronofsky and psychological and literal demons sounds like it could be an utterly fantastic one.

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