Though I can’t say I agree with his criticisms of movies, it’s a good time to be Max Landis. The fact that he refers to Daisy Ridley‘s Rey as a “Mary Sue” in Star Wars: The Force Awakens is frankly ridiculous – that would make Luke Skywalker what? a Johnny Dave? – and his support of the lunatics who have boycotted Paul Feig‘s Ghostbusters, sight unseen, does not help his case. Still, the guy writes enjoyable movies at a clip, with both Mr. Right and American Ultra comfortably fitting under the rubric of fun, humorous trash and when he is capable of quelling his more shallow impulses and cynicism, such as in Chronicle, he’s one of the more interesting popular screenwriters on the market.
Considering the tone of its source material, I’m optimistic that Dirk Gently, his adaptation of Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency for BBC America will land in the same area as his Chronicle script – a witty, emotional, and thematically fascinating science fiction tale. BBC has already made and aired their first adaptation of the famed Douglas Adams novel, but BBC America is prepping their own take on the material for an October 20th release this fall, with Landis executive producing alongside showrunner Robert Cooper of Stargate Atlantis. The cast is led by Samuel Barnett as the title character, who appears alongside Elijah Wood‘s Todd, Gently’s sidekick of sorts, in the first full image from the new series. You can take a look at the image (via EW) right below.
Adams is best known for his The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy novels, which are as important a series of science fiction novels as you’re likely to ever find, but his work outside of that universe is similarly imaginative, funny, and teeming with a variety of unexpectedly moving characters. In the show, those characters will be played by the likes of Jade Eshete, Miguel Sandoval, Neil Brown Jr., Aaron Douglas, Mpho Koaho, Dustin Milligan, Hannah Marks, and The West Wing‘s Richard Schiff. On evidence of the cast list of Dirk Gently alone, and despite Landis’ more dubious proclamations, this series is at the top of my must-see list for the fall.