David Farr is set to adapt John Wyndham’s classic sci-fi/horror novel The Midwich Cuckoos as a series for Sky TV in Britain. The writer who previously worked on Hanna and The Night Manager is, according to Deadline, adapting the novel into an eight-part series.
If that title doesn’t ring a bell for you, try Village of the Damned instead. The novel served as the source material for two adaptation in the last century. The first from director Wolf Rilla hit the big screen back in 1960 and spawned a sequel, Children of the Damned.
The second came from director John Carpenter in 1995. Carpenter and screenwriter David Himmelstein moved the action from England to California and their film starred Mark Hamill, Christopher Reeve, and Kirstie Alley. It was Reeve’s final film before a horseback riding accident left him paralyzed in May of 1995.
The novel tells the story of a small fictional village in England that is completely subdued by an alien presence for an entire day. Upon waking, it is discovered that numerous women in the town are pregnant. The children who are born from the events during the “dayout” all appear to have golden eyes, silvery pale skin, and light blond hair. They also have incredible mental abilities and by the age of nine appear to be about 16 years old due to accelerated maturation.
Wyndham used cuckoos as inspiration because, as a species, they lay their eggs in the nests of other birds where they will hatch and grow faster than the other hatchlings, often destroying other eggs in the process.
It was a chilling tale that inspired other authors and filmmakers long after it was published, and it will be interesting to see the story play out in a long form without the time constraints of a feature film.
iHorror will keep you posted on details about The Midwich Cuckoos as they become available.