AMC greenlit animated series Pantheon, based on Ken Liu’s short fiction

AMC greenlit animated series Pantheon, based on Ken Liu’s short fiction
Photo: Li Yibo

AMC has given a two-season order for Pantheon, a one-hour, animated series based on a series of short stories by Ken Liu about uploaded intelligence, reports Deadline.

The network began developing the series back in 2018, setting up a writers room to begin writing a series of scrips and a short animated presentation. The series is being run by Craig Silverstein, who’s produced and written for shows like AMC’s TURN: Washington’s Spies, Nikita, Terra Nova, and others. Deadline notes that the series is “described as a fresh take on graphic realism done in a traditional 2D way, using modern tools.” The series will at least run for two seasons (Deadline says that it’s “envisioned as an ongoing series”) of eight episodes.

The show will follow a young woman named Maddie, “a bullied teen who receives mysterious help from someone online,” who turns out to be her dead father David, who has uploaded his consciousness into the cloud, and whose existence marks a potential turning point for the human race.

The series appears to be based in part on a trio of Liu’s short stories: “The Gods Will Not Be Chained,”which appeared in John Joseph Adams’ anthology The End is Nigh in 2014; The “Gods Will Not Be Slain” from Adams’ The End is Now; and “The Gods Have not Died in Vain”, from Adams’ The End has Come. All three stories appear in Liu’s recent collection of short fiction, The Hidden Girl and Other Stories.

Sarah Barnett, AMC Networks Entertainment Group and AMC Studios’ president noted in a statement that Liu and Silverstein “know how to weave the intimate and the epic into a powerful tale”:

Pantheon is an entertaining and provocative series about personal relationships and what happens to them when the boundary of life is removed from the human condition. And we’re looking to push other boundaries here too, in making an animated drama that aims to be every bit as moving, immersive and visceral as any premium, live-action scripted series.

There’s no indication when the series will premiere on AMC, or who will be cast in the series.