With Westworld gearing up for a fourth season, HBO has set its eyes on yet another Michael Crichton series adaptation. Before you have a full-on panic attack, no, tragically, it is not Congo. It should be Congo, but it is not Congo. It is Sphere, Crichton’s 1987 sci-fi thriller novel that takes place miles beneath the ocean surface.
Westworld season 3 writer and producer Denise Thé will serve as showrunner on the series. Here’s the official synopsis courtesy of EW, who broke the news:
“Sphere plunges us one thousand feet into the ocean, where a group of scientists confronts the surreal, beautiful, and deadly mysteries of the universe, only to find the people closest to us may prove to be the most alien.”
To get a little more specific than that, Sphere follows a team of scientists tasked with studying a massive, mysterious spacecraft discovered beneath the Pacific Ocean. The more they learn about the vessel, perfectly-preserved and apparently 300 years old, the more it becomes clear that it’s tied to an intellect beyond human comprehension.
But Sphere actually has a pretty solid chance as a series. There’s a whole lot of heady ideas in the novel that don’t lend themselves to a two-hour window, but giving them room to breathe across multiple episodes could definitely help. Of course, there’s a lot of heady ideas in Westworld too, and giving that show more seasons just kind’ve turned it into a slog. Time will tell!