George R.R. Martin‘s back catalog continues to be a film and television goldmine.
Collider reports Pirates of the Carribean‘s Gore Verbinski will direct a feature film based on Martin’s 1979 novelette Sandkings. Utopia‘s Dennis Kelly will pen the script. First published in an issue of Omni — now there’s a callback — the story centers on a wealthy collector who obtains a terrarium containing four colonies of “sandkings.” The creatures behave roughly like beehives, but also engage in military campaigns against the other colonies. As first, the collector tries to organize a betting pool around it, but as his situation grows more dire, the sandkings escape.
“[It] is this brilliant little twisted short story that I love,” Verbinski told the site.
The story is set in the same universe as Nightflyers, which became a Syfy series in 2019. And although that program was short lived, it shows the viability of Martin’s work outside of Westeros. Not that the realm of the Andals, the Rhoynar, and the First Men is being ignored. Beyond Martin’s commitment to the seventh book in his Song of Ice and Fire series, The Winds of Winter, HBO is currently developing two live action Game of Thrones sequels and an animated series.
As Collider noted, Sandkings has been adapted as DC Comics graphic novel and as an episode of Showtime’s Outer Limits revival in the 1990s. Also, based on their reporting, it is unclear how soon Verbinski might mount the production as it is only one of the projects he is currently involved with. As with most directors, time, money, and a script must align before they fully commit, so it will be interesting to see if Sandkings coalesces in the short term.