Alexander Ludwig to Star in ‘Earth Abides’ Series Adaptation at MGM+

MGM+ has ordered a limited series adaptation of the George R. Stewart sci-fi novel “Earth Abides” with Alexander Ludwig set to star.

The streamer has ordered six episodes of the series, with Ludwig set to play the role of Ish. Production will begin in Vancover in April with the show slated for a late 2024 debut.

More from Variety

The official logline for the series states, “When a plague of unprecedented virulence sweeps the globe, the human race is all but wiped out. In the aftermath, as the great machine of civilization slowly and inexorably breaks down, only a few shattered survivors remain to struggle against the slide into extinction.”

The character of Ish is further described as “a brilliant but solitary young geologist living a semi-isolated life who awakens from a coma only to find that there is no one left alive but him. A plague of unprecedented virulence has swept the globe, and yes, there are a few scattered survivors, but there are no rules. His journey is to learn the difference between sanctuary and survival and to open his heart to love if he is to find meaning in his life after the great machine of civilization has broken down.”

Todd Komarnicki is adapting the book for the screen and will serve as showrunner and executive producer. Karen Janszen, Tony Spiridakis, Evan Hart, and Kyle Stephen are also writers on the series. Michael Phillips and Juliana Maio of Lighthouse Productions and Kearie Peak also serve as executive producers. Bronwen Hughes will direct the first two episodes, while Rachel Leiterman will direct episodes three and four. Stephen Campanelli will direct episodes five and six. MGM+ Studios will produce.

“Earth Abides” is published by Harper Voyager, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers

“It’s very special to reintroduce ‘Earth Abides’ to fans of George Stewart’s seminal work of science fiction, as well as to a new generation,” said Michael Wright, head of MGM+. “The story’s messages of humanity, hope, and compassion are as relevant today as they were nearly a century ago.”

“It has been an unmitigated thrill to adapt such a seminal sci-fi work, and the themes illuminated by George Stewart 75 years ago could not be more meaningful and timelier for the world we are living in today,” added Komarnicki. “Despite the chaos and division that greets us every morning in the news, the truth remains that the way forward for society is through unity, compassion, forgiveness, understanding, and grace.”

Ludwig most recently starred in the Starz pro wrestling drama “Heels” in the role of Ace Spade. He is best known for starring in the TV series “Vikings,” on which he played Björn Ironside for five of the show’s six seasons. His feature credits include “Lone Survivor,” “Bad Boys for Life” (and its upcoming sequel), and “Guy Ritchie’s The Covenant.”

He is repped by WME and Untitled Entertainment. Komarnicki is repped by The Gotham Group and attorney Darren Trattner. The rights to the book “Earth Abides” are repped by HarperCollins Publishers.

Best of Variety

Sign up for Variety’s Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.