George R.R. Martin Pitched 5 Shows To HBO In 2020 And They Said Yes To Roadmarks

After Game of Thrones, Martin is turning his attention to producing a sci-fi TV show that was one of five pitches he made to HBO.


George R.R. Martin is working on a new sci-fi TV show based on his friend Roger Zelazny's Roadmarks novel, and now he's shared some additional insight on the project. For starters, it was one of five shows that he pitched to HBO in 2020--the other four never progressed.

Writing on his not a blog, Martin said he didn't want to announce Roadmarks so soon, because "development is a long and uncertain process" and the majority of shows that are pitched never make it to air. However, Martin said he wanted to start talking about Roadmarks because "you cannot win the lottery unless you buy a ticket, so we all keep playing."

Martin has a special affinity for Zelazny's work, as he adapted Zelazny's The Last Defende of Camelot for The Twilight Zone in 1985. "It was the first script of mine ever to be filmed," he said. "Roger was a friend, a mentor, and one of the greatest science fiction writers who ever lived."

Zelazny passed away in 1995, and Martin is hoping to be able to help his legacy live on in the future by bringing Roadmarks to TV.

Martin revealed that he personally pitched Roadmarks to HBO in 2020 alongside four other TV show ideas, which he did not divulge in his blog post. HBO passed on these other four but agreed to move forward with Roadmarks.

Martin said Roadmarks has a very compelling concept that could make for great TV. At the center of the story is a physical road that extends throughout history, and into alternate timelines. This road is constantly growing and always changing. Those who find the road can go anywhere. Martin said that Zelazny's title for the book was "Last Exit to Babylon," which Martin said provides more clarity that the title the publisher decided to go with.

Martin believes in the potential for Roadmarks to be another successful TV show with storylines that can support "a dozen great seasons" on HBO. Right now, however, HBO has only ordered a pilot episode.

Star Trek and The Walking Dead writer Kalinda Vazquez is writing the pilot for Roadmarks. Martin worked with her years ago when the two were trying to adapt Martin's novella, The Skin Trade, into a series for Cinemax. The show never happened due to "complex legal reasons" that Martin said he is still annoyed about years later.

Martin will be a producer on the Roadmarks TV show, with Vazquez doing the heavy lifting. If Roadmarks is picked up to series, Vazquez will become the showrunner and take on the role of leading the writer's room and overseeing the project overall.

Martin cautioned that the Roadmarks TV show is not coming soon. You shouldn't expect it for another "year or two" at the soonest, he said.

To help ease the wait, Martin recommended people read Roadmarks the novel, along with Zelazny's other works like Nine Princes In Amber and Lord of Light.

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