The year has only begun, but AMC is already looking to the future.
The cable network has greenlit "James Cameron's Story of Science Fiction" (the working title), a six-episode documentary series that traces the evolution of the genre. Here's the official logline for the series, targeted to premiere next year:
Cameron introduces one of the “Big Questions” that humankind has contemplated throughout the ages, and reaches back into sci-fi’s past to better understand how our favorite films, TV shows, books, and video games were born, and where the genre – and our species – might be going in the future.
The comprehensive approach at the genre comes as no surprise to anyone familiar with the work of Cameron, the Academy Award-winning director behind such films as "The Terminator," "Aliens," "Terminator 2: Judgement Day" and "Avatar."
“When I was a kid, I basically read any book with a spaceship on the cover," Cameron said in a statement. "I saw '2001: A Space Odyssey' many, many times. ... The movie inspired me to become a filmmaker. I liked the special effects, but I really loved the ideas and the questions behind them: How will the world end? Will technology destroy us? What does it mean to be human? These are subjects sci-fi has never been afraid to tackle, with this series, we are going back to the origins of sci-fi, following the DNA of these ideas back to the source."
Cameron also spoke about the importance of looking back on the history of science fiction to better understand the genre's current state. "Without Jules Verne and H.G. Wells there wouldn’t have been Ray Bradbury or Robert A. Heinlein, and without them, there wouldn’t be Lucas, Spielberg, Ridley Scott or me," he said. "As a filmmaker who specializes in science fiction, I’m interested in exploring the struggles and the triumphs that brought these incredible stories to life and seeing how art imitates life, as well as how science fiction imitates and sometimes informs science.”
The series order further expands AMC's growing lineup of nonfiction programming, which includes "Talking Dead," "The American West," "Comic Book Men" and "Ride With Norman Reedus."
“As we continue to pursue event documentary series at AMC that our viewers are passionate about, it’s hard to imagine a better fit to explore the rich history of this genre than Mr. Cameron," said Joel Stillerman, president of original programming and development for AMC and SundanceTV. "He’s a consummate entertainer, a scholar, and an explorer."
Produced by Cameron, Maria Wilhelm, Ken Druckerman and Banks Tarver, "James Cameron's Story of Science Fiction" will debut in 2018.