The Imitation Game star Matthew Goode has been tapped to star in WGN America’s ROADSIDE PICNIC. The series is based on the famous novel by popular science fiction writers Arkady Strugatsky and Boris Strugatsky.
The series is set in a near-future world where aliens have come and gone, leaving humankind to discover the wondrous dangerous mysteries left behind. It explores the social ramifications of their visit, as seen through the eyes of Red, played by Goode, a veteran “stalker” who has made it his mission to illegally venture into the once inhabited zone and scavenge the abandoned remains of the alien culture.
Parts of the novel was published in literary magazine Avrora in the 70s. The complete novel was printed in the US in 1977. It was refused publication in book form in the Soviet Union for several years due to government censorship and when it was finally published it was heavily censored from the original version. The first versions published in the country and endorsed by the authors were released in the 1990s. The work was nominated for a John W. Campbell Award which it won second place, and the Strugatskys were accepted as honorary members of the Mark Twain Society for their “outstanding contribution to world science fiction literature”.
The project is set up at Sony Pictures TV where it was originally developed as a spec, partnered with Tribune Studios. Jack Paglen, who wrote the pilot, and Alan Taylor, who is attached to direct, will both executive produce with Original Film’s Neal Moritz and Vivian Cannon producing.
Goode has bounced between television and film roles for the length of his career, but to American audiences he was initially better known for his work on the big screen. He appeared in such award-winning films as Woody Allen’s London-set Match Point, A Single Man opposite Colin Firth, Brideshead Revisited, and The Imitation Game with Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley. More recently, his career received a burst of energy after his performance in The Good Wife as Finn Polmar and in the period drama Downton Abbey. Roadside Picnic will be the first US television series putting Goode squarely in the center.