Before a single episode has even been filmed, Hulu’s The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy TV series has reportedly already been granted a second season. The series, based on Douglas Adams’s beloved series of novels (which in turn were based on radio plays he wrote for the BBC), is expected to begin production later in 2020 with a likely premiere date of late 2021 or early 2022. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy centers on Arthur Dent, a fairly average, unassuming British man, who is dragged into a world of interstellar intrigue when his best friend is revealed to be an alien.
In the first novel, the Earth is destroyed by an alien race known as Vogons — essentially bureaucrats, who destroy it because it stands in the way of a hyperspace expressway they were working on. Dent’s best friend, Ford Prefect, uses an electronic device to hitch a ride on a passing spacecraft, beginning an elaborate, hilarious series of adventures.
A previous TV series, which loosely adapted the first two of Adams’s five novels — The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and The Restaurant at the End of the Universe — aired on the BBC in 1981. A feature film that loosely adapted the first book (but with significant changes) was released in 2005. While the TV series remains a cult classic, the movie is mostly forgotten, in spite of its phenomenal cast, which included Martin Freeman, Sam Rockwell, Mos Def, Zooey Deschanel, Alan Rickman, and John Malkovich.
The Cinema Spot reports that Hulu is high on the project, and expects it to go for several seasons beyond the first two. Whether each season will loosely adapt one story from the radio shows and/or the books — or whether it will go its own way, in the spirit of Douglas Adams’s own constant tinkering with the franchise — is anybody’s guess.
At face value, it appears Hulu is trading one genre/space series for another, as it recently cancelled Seth MacFarlane’s The Orville, a well-reviewed Star Trek parody that has struggled almost since the beginning to find its audience.
Douglas Adams, who also wrote the novels on which Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency was based, passed away in 2001, while working on a version of a script which (after some rewrites) would become the 2005 film. A few years after his death, Artemis Fowl creator Eoin Colfer was recruited to write what ultimately became the 2009 novel …And Another Thing, a canonical sixth novel in the Hitchhiker continuity, which earned mixed reviews and decent sales, but serves better as it was originally intended — a thirtieth-anniversary celebration of the original — than as a stand-alone piece of entertainment.
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