Credit: Everett Collection

HBO is developing a new series from the author of Westworld and Jurassic Park.

The premium network is working on an adaptation of Sphere, Michael Crichton's 1987 novel about a group of scientists in an underwater facility who encounter a mysterious alien spacecraft.

The series is from showrunnner Denise Thé, who recently worked as a writer and executive producer of season 3 of Westworld.

Official series description: "Sphere plunges us one thousand feet into the ocean, where a group of scientists confronts the surreal, beautiful, and deadly mysteries of the universe, only to find the people closest to us may prove to be the most alien."

Sphere was made into a 1998 movie starring Dustin Hoffman, Sharon Stone, and Samuel L. Jackson. Despite its all-star cast and director Barry Levinson, the film was a bomb at the box office as it struggled to make the book's tricky premise into a compelling narrative. The issues faced by the film will presumably be even tougher for a series to crack. But HBO successfully took Westworld – which was originally considered a fairly cheesy (if successful) 1973 film – and reinvented it into a compelling hit drama.

Westworld showrunners Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy are also on board as executive producers, along with Athena Wickham, Robert Downey Jr, Susan Downey, and Amanda Burrell.

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