Why Apple TV’s Dark Matter Could Never Work as a Movie, Explained by Creator

Why Apple TV’s Dark Matter Could Never Work as a Movie, Explained by Creator
Image credit: Apple TV+

It was destined to become a show all along.

Adapting a novel into a screenplay is not an easy task, especially when it comes to fantasy or science fiction. Stories in this genre rely heavily on the imagination of the reader, so to do justice to the universe, the script must be as detailed as possible. And the success of the story depends heavily on the format.

Something that might work well in a series format can be an unmitigated disaster as a movie. This was the case with Apple TV Plus' Dark Matter, which ended up working by sheer coincidence.

Is Dark Matter Based on a Book?

Starring Joel Edgerton and Jennifer Connelly, Dark Matter is a great new addition to the Apple TV Plus collection of sci-fi series. The show follows a physicist, Jason Dessen, who gets caught up in the alternate reality and must fight the alternate version of himself in order to stop his own family from getting hurt.

Blake Crouch's 2016 novel of the same name was adapted into the script by the author himself, but the show's journey to becoming the hit it is today wasn't easy. In fact, Dark Matter was originally intended to be a feature film rather than a limited series. It was pure luck that allowed the show to come to life.

“I wrote a script, a couple other screenwriters came in and did passes and revisions, and we only really got that script to, like, a solid B. You’re supposed to kill your darlings in the adaptation process, but we were killing all of our emotional and character darlings just to fit it into 110 pages. <...> It just started to feel like a slick, soulless, sci-fi movie,” he said.

The original version of the script ended up being so dry that Crouch was sure the project was dead. But Sony Features stepped in and allowed the project to become a TV show instead. With much more time to explore the universe and the characters within it, Crouch continued to write, and Dark Matter was born.

Now, as the Apple TV Plus series nears its finale, the stakes are higher than ever for Jason Dessen. If you want to see how the Dessen family story ends, be sure to tune in to the streamer on June 19 and June 26 to not miss the final two episodes.

Source: Variety