A Waterworld TV Show Is in the Works thumbnail

A Waterworld TV Show Is in the Works

Kevin Costner appears in character as the Mariner on the set of 1995's Waterworld.

A streaming series based on Waterworld is currently in the works.
Photo: Universal

It may end up taking 30 years—but Waterworld could finally get the sequel it so desperately wanted. Collider reports that a streaming TV show take on the infamous 1995 Kevin Costner film is now in the works, which would pick up the story in that film 20 years after its ending. 10 Cloverfield Lane and The Boys director Dan Trachtenberg is reportedly attached to direct.

“We’re not 100% sure on the approach to the show. But definitely, we’re in the building stages right now,” said John Fox who, along with John Davis, is producing the series. Davis produced the original Kevin Reynolds-directed film which famously cost $180 million in 1995—the most expensive movie ever at the time— but grossed only $80 million domestic.

The show is being set up at Universal Television and is reportedly close to having a streamer in place, though Fox and Davis didn’t confirm which. No one else is attached besides Trachtenberg but things are in the works. “Dan’s attached, we’re breaking the story now and we’re talking to a few different writers. And we should have a writer locked in, I would think, over the next couple of weeks,” Fox said.

Waterworld tells the story of a future where the polar ice caps have melted, covering all of Earth in water. The main character is “the Mariner” a half-fish, half-human (played by Costner) who begrudgingly teams up with a woman and a child (Jeannie Tripplehorn and Tina Majorino) because the child might have a map to dry land on her back—a map that everyone on the planet wants. Though the film was a bomb upon release, it’s kept a certain cult status, in small part due to its long presence at the Universal Studios Hollywood theme park, and in large part to just how ambitious and beautiful the movie is, even if there are some hugely problematic elements.

This version of the story would keep that movie in canon and just pick up the story later. “We’re going to do the streaming version of that movie, the continuation of that movie,” Davis said. “Twenty years later. All those people, 20 years later.” Now, whether that means we see Costner again as the Mariner seems doubtful. The film ends with the heroes finding dry land and the Mariner going back off to the water. Nevertheless, a cameo could be nice. That is, if this show ever gets above ground.

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