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George R.R. Martin Skin Trade: Cinemax orders pilot script

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Another George R.R. Martin series could find its way to cable.

Cinemax has ordered a pilot script for the Game of Thrones author’s werewolf novella The Skin Trade. Kalinda Vazquez (co-executive producer of Once Upon a Time) will adapt Martin’s work, which focuses on a young detective investigating a string of brutal murders in her small town (the victims are skinned). Martin wrote The Skin TradeĀ in the 1980s, and it was first published alongside work by Stephen King and Dan Simmons in the horror anthology Night Visions 5.

Martin confirmed the news on his blog. “I have always thought there was a TV series (or maybe a feature film) in Willie Flambeaux and Randi Wade,” Martin wrote, referencing the main characters. “Those of you who know the story of Doorways, my ill-fated ABC pilot from the early ’90s, may even recall that it was Skin Trade that I was actually trying to sell back in 1991, when I flew out to L.A. for a round of pitch meetings. So we’re a few decades late…”

The author cautioned that Cinemax only ordered the pilot script, and that it wasn’t a guaranteeĀ The Skin Trade would wind up on the air. But he’s impressed with Vazquez, who will also produce the show if it moves forward as a series.

“That was not an easy choice,” Martin said of picking Vasquez for The Skin Trade. “Cinemax and my agents set me up for meetings with close to a dozen different TV writers, many of them very impressive, but Kalinda’s take on the story and the characters blew me away. She loves the story and the world, and really seems to get Willie and Randi, and her pitch to Cinemax was one of the most polished and professional I’ve ever heard. I love her enthusiasm, and look forward to working with her.”

As for why Martin himself won’t handle the adaptation, there’s the little matter of Game of Thrones. “I have this book to finish,” he wrote of The Winds of Winter, the forthcoming sixth Thrones entry. “You know the one.”

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