Hivemind has announced that it has partnered with writer/director Brian Taylor and European production company Kallisti for a new television series based on The Illuminatus! Trilogy – the hugely influential science-fiction franchise created by authors Robert Anton Wilson and Robert Shea that first introduced the concept of “the Illuminati” into the popular consciousness, while simultaneously fueling, deconstructing, and skewering America’s modern-day obsession with conspiracy theories.
When the offices of a Manhattan news publisher are bombed, anti-authority reporter George Dorn begins to suspect that the disturbing conspiracy his editor has spent months investigating is not only real, it might be the key to unlocking all of history’s greatest unanswered mysteries. As George sets out to find his mentor and uncover the truth about an all-seeing secret society that seems to unify every insane, inane, and outlandish conspiracy theory ever told – from the JFK assassination, celebrity cabals and lost continents to UFOs, ancient gods and the truth about the New World Order – he finds himself drawn deeper into a war between two shadowy groups. On one side stand the Discordians, a clandestine band of chaos-loving guerrilla fighters led by the enigmatic modern-day pirate Hagbard Celine; and on the other, the Illuminati – elite authoritarians who secretly manipulate world events, ever-expanding their wealth, influence, and physical power in a plot to escape the limitations of human existence.
Illuminatus! will be executive produced by Dinesh Shamdasani and Hunter Gorinson for Hivemind, and Iris McPherson and Kirstin Winkler for Kallisti. Taylor will serve as executive producer and showrunner.
A globetrotting science-fiction/conspiracy thriller laced with subversive humor, Illuminatus! was first published in 1975 at the height of post-Watergate paranoia and has remained in print ever since. Often ranked as one of the most influential and obsessively followed pieces of cult science fiction ever produced, references and allusions to the series have turned up everywhere many citing the series as an inspiration and influence.
Celebrated as a “mind-twisting science fiction…classic for more than 30 years” by the New York Times, “the ultimate conspiracy book” by the Village Voice, and the “New Testament” of the American counterculture underground by Vice, Illuminatus! has spawned nearly a dozen sequels and spin-offs, along with comic books, stage plays, radio productions, role-playing games, and more based on the original trilogy. In recent years, Kallisti has also developed an immersive Illuminatus! VR experience, exploring series’ many iconic characters and settings, that has exhibited at numerous arts and technology events in the United States and Europe.