Chronicle scribe Max Landis is teaming up with IDW Publishing to create a TV series based on Douglas Adams’ Dirk Gently series of humorous sci-fi novels—all as part of comics publisher IDW’s plans, announced last year to follow Marvel’s lead into TV production. As revealed by The Hollywood Reporter, Landis is attached to the project as an executive producer and is also set to write the pilot. He expressed enthusiasm for the character, originated by Adams in 1987’s Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, saying, “This is a dream project of mine.”
Gently (real name Svlad Cjelli, aka Dirk Cjelli) is a sort of affable con man who styles himself as a holistic detective—i.e., one who solves cases not by investigating a mystery, but the society that surrounds the mystery. He usually accomplishes this by frittering the day away doing nothing much at all, except sending his clients invoices. Despite this, he frequently gets drawn—through a mixture of curiosity, bad luck, and the occasional twinge of conscience—into meticulously plotted supernatural escapades that reach blatantly ridiculous heights of silliness, despite their potentially apocalyptic consequences.
While the Dirk Gently novels are less well-known than Adams’ more popular Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy books, this is actually the second time in recent years that the series has been adapted to television. A BBC-produced version starring Stephen Mangan as the titular detective had a single-season run in the U.K. back in 2010.