Amazon Studios has acquired the rights to John Wyndham‘s 1951 novel The Day of the Triffids and is developing the classic sci-fi property as a potential series for Prime Video, Above the Line has exclusively learned.
Though there are no attachments to the project at this time, it will surely be a hot commodity among writers eager to adapt the post-apocalyptic novel, as Wyndham’s story finds billions of people around the world blinded by an apparent meteor shower, after which an aggressive species of plant starts killing people.
The protagonist of the novel is Bill Masen, a biologist who is intimately familiar with triffids — tall, venomous, carnivorous plants that are capable of moving. He crosses paths with a wealthy novelist, Josella Playton, and together they discover a group of survivors who still have their sight. Eventually, one of the survivors kidnaps Bill and Josella and chains each of them to a blind person, assigning them to lead squadrons of the blind to collect food and other supplies while avoiding detection from both triffids and rival scavengers. Later, Bill and Josella become separated, and he desperately tries to find her with the help of a young girl named Susan.
Author Simon Clark wrote a 2001 sequel titled The Night of the Triffids that is set 25 years after Wyndham’s book, and follows Bill’s son as he travels to New York. In 2020, author John Whitbourn published another sequel titled The Age of the Triffids, though the book is only available in Canada and New Zealand due to a rights issue.
The Day of the Triffids was previously turned into a 1962 movie of the same name, a pair of TV series (one in 1981, the other in 2009), and three radio dramas as well. It also served as the inspiration for Danny Boyle‘s zombie movie 28 Days Later — at least according to screenwriter Alex Garland.
Meanwhile, Wyndham himself has said that H.G. Wells‘ 1897 novel The War of the Worlds was a major influence, as the working title of that book had been The Day of the Tripods. Other notable sci-fi authors have since praised The Day of the Triffids, with 2001: A Space Odyssey scribe Arthur C. Clarke calling it “an immortal story.”
Amazon has an exciting TV slate this year, which is expected to see the launch of The Boys spinoff Gen V, the globe-trotting action series Citadel from the Russo brothers, a Dead Ringers series starring Rachel Weisz, and the Nicole Kidman series Expats. The streamer is also developing a Warhammer 40,000 series starring Henry Cavill, and it recently inked comic book creators Matt Fraction and Kelly Sue DeConnick to an overall deal — both stories that were first reported by Above the Line.
A representative for Amazon had no comment regarding The Day of the Triffids.