AMC Opens Writers Rooms For Seconds Reimagining With Female Lead, The Devil In Silver Horror Anthology

EXCLUSIVE: AMC Networks has identified its next two strong series contenders. The company is opening writers’ rooms for Seconds, a radical reimagining of the cult classic with a female lead at its center, and psychological horror story The Devil In Silver, envisioned as the first installment in a potential anthology franchise.

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The projects both hail from creative auspices behind cult AMC drama Halt and Catch Fire and are part of AMC Networks’ focus on producing premium content targeting adults for AMC+, some of it with a genre bent, which is the case with the two new horror-themed prospects. They are being developed under AMC Networks’ established “scripts-to-series” model, which involves opening writers’ rooms to develop prospective shows, including generating multiple scripts, for straight-to-series consideration. The two projects, for which AMC commissioned writers rooms last year, Invitation to a Bonfire and Demascus, both went to series.

Seconds, based on the novel by David Ely, is from creator, executive producer and showrunner Mark Lafferty, who was writer/supervising producer on Halt and Catch Fire, and executive producers Mark Johnson, through his Gran Via banner, and Melissa Bernstein — both of whom also exec produced Halt and Catch Fire — as well as Peter Douglas.

In Seconds, when Claire Munro’s world is suddenly turned upside down, she’s given a chance to start life over with a clean slate. But can she really leave everything behind, or will she find herself diving back into the mysteries of her past?

The 1966 film adaptation, directed by John Frankenheimer and starring Rock Hudson, is part of Library of Congress’ National Film Registry selection. In 2010, Douglas obtained the rights and set out to develop and produce remakes and sequels of several films by Frankenheimer, including Seconds.

The Devil in Silver would be the first season in a potential new horror anthology series for AMC and AMC+ that will feature average people caught up in horrific stories in today’s world. It is from creator and executive producer Victor LaValle, based on his novel of the same name, and showrunner Christopher Cantwell, co-creator and executive producer of Halt and Catch Fire. Executive producers also include Scott Free, EMJAG and Entertainment 360.

Season 1 tells the story of Pepper – a working class man from Queens who, through a combination of bad luck and a bad temper, finds himself wrongfully committed to a psychiatric hospital. There, he must contend with other patients, doctors who harbor dark secrets of their own, and perhaps even a true and even more terrifying evil.

“These are two gripping and fast-paced psychological dramas from great creative talent we are looking forward to exploring in the coming months,” said Dan McDermott, president of entertainment and AMC Studios for AMC Networks. “As we continue to establish AMC+ as the home of premium marquee content for adults, these projects are both right in the sweet spot of that brand and value proposition – great stories with unforgettable characters that break through and say something about our broader world. They also are both include members of the Halt and Catch Fire creative team, which should excite viewers as much as it does all of us. Here’s hoping that these respective writers’ rooms are indeed the things that get us to the thing.”

AMC’s current drama franchises are both in the genre realm, flagship The Walking Dead and its offshoots, and the Anne Rice universe, which launches Oct. 2 with Interview With the Vampire. 

For Johnson, who is running the Anne Rice universe, Seconds would mark his ninth series for AMC. In addition to Interview with the Vampire, he has coming up Anne Rice’s Mayfair Witches early next year as well as AMC’s new Bob Odenkirk series, Straight Man, and Demascus, both slated to debut in 2023.

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