Alexander Skarsgård to star in Apple TV+ sci-fi 'Murderbot' series

Alexander Skarsgård in "Infinity Pool"
Alexander Skarsgård in "Infinity Pool" (Image credit: Neon)

Everyone's favorite homicidal SecUnit will soon head to the small screen in a new "Murderbot" TV series picked up by Apple TV+ and based on distinguished author Martha Wells's thrilling collection of far future sci-fi novels.

Wells hinted at a "Murderbot" streaming series in development during our exclusive chat with her back in June of 2021, and now it appears that project is coming to full fruition with the recent full-series commitment and casting announcement of Alexander Skarsgård ("True Blood," "The Northman") aboard as executive producer and snagging the lead role as the soap opera-watching cyborg. 

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The Hugo and Nebula Award-winning author's intensely popular saga orbiting the violent security robot's world began back in 2017 with "All Systems Red" (Tor). 

"System Collapse" (Tor), the seventh entry in the best-selling "Murderbot Diaries" series was just released on Nov. 14, which followed the 2021 prequel novella, "Fugitive Telemetry" (Tor), that was published in the wake of 2020's mainline "Murderbot" book, "Network Effect" (Tor).

Exclusive: Author Martha Wells talks 'Murderbot,' sci-fi and more

Author Martha Wells and the cover of her newest entry in the "Murderbot Diaries" book series, "System Collapse." (Image credit: Tor)

Originating from Paramount Television Studios and "About a Boy" creators Chris and Paul Weitz, "Murderbot" revolves around "a self-hacking security android who is horrified by human emotion yet drawn to its vulnerable clients. Murderbot must hide its free will and complete a dangerous assignment when all it really wants is to be left alone to watch futuristic soap operas and figure out its place in the universe." 

The Weitz siblings will helm this ambitious ten-episode adaptation by writing, directing, and producing via their Depth of Field shingle alongside executive producer Andrew Miano. The prolific David S. Goyer ("Blade," "Dark City," "The Dark Knight Trilogy") executive produces with Keith Levine for Phantom Four. Martha Wells is also attached as a consulting producer.

In case their names sound somewhat familiar, Chris Weitz co-penned the script for director Gareth Edwards' "The Creator" and his brother, Paul Weitz, wrote and directed the Kevin Hart comedy, "Fatherhood."

Goyer is the ringmaster and executive producer on the Apple Original series "Foundation," which aired its second season this past summer. "Murderbot" is expected to start production sometime in 2024 and should fortify Apple TV's imposing armada of science fiction selections which includes "Monarch: Legacy of Monsters," "Silo," "For All Mankind," "Invasion," and "Hello, Tomorrow!"

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Jeff Spry
Contributing Writer

Jeff Spry is an award-winning screenwriter and veteran freelance journalist covering TV, movies, video games, books, and comics. His work has appeared at SYFY Wire, Inverse, Collider, Bleeding Cool and elsewhere. Jeff lives in beautiful Bend, Oregon amid the ponderosa pines, classic muscle cars, a crypt of collector horror comics, and two loyal English Setters.