Join us for an intimate conversation with television veteran Glen Mazzara, the executive producer of the captivating sci-fi series “BEACON 23.” Known for his work on iconic shows like “The Walking Dead” and “The Shield,” Mazzara dives deep into the creative process behind bringing the beloved novel to life on screen.
- Mazzara’s approach to adapting the source material while staying true to the book’s essence.
- Insights into the character-driven narrative and the unique tone of “BEACON 23.”
- Exciting moments and character developments that fans of the book can look forward to in the series.
- The decision-making process behind the intriguing cliffhanger that left viewers on the edge of their seats.
In this new project, Beacon 23, you find yourself working on this adaptation with a passionate audience again. With your experience working in this way, what are the key elements from the book that were crucial to preserve in the television adaptation of Beacon 23? And were there any aspects that required modification to better suit the medium?
Glen Mazzara: Good question. Thank you. Well, the show was created by Zak Pan, who wrote Avengers and Ready Player One or whatever. So, he really kind of started the adaptation. And I think he did make a couple of choices that differentiate the show from the world of the book, right? But he still wanted the central problem of hailing trapped on this lighthouse on the edge of space and how they travel and certain mechanics. And so there’s a lot of the book here.
Now, when I started working on the show and I was talking to Hugh, right, the author, Hugh Howie, we had a real good heart-to-heart. And we were talking about what was his intent? Why did he write that book? And what was the tone he was going for? And he said, you know, I really want it to be about the characters, you know, it’s not about the stuff we usually see in a space drama.
This one’s much smaller and it has more heart in a way, you know, it’s not about the intergalactic war or something. It’s about these people trying to survive and hold each other’s roof and all of that. And that’s the show that I wanted to work on, you know, and that’s what I saw in Zak’s original material and what, you know, Stefan and Lena were shooting and everything. So we kind of just hit that harder. So I think, you know, it’s really about the, you know, that it’s a, it’s a character drama. It has scope and has scale, but it’s about the people.
For the fans who have read the Beacon 23 books, are there any particular moments or any of the character developments that you’re excited for the book fans to see on screen?
Glen Mazzara: You know, you know, I would say, I would say, you know, I would say we’re trying hard to bring that world to life, you know, and I would say there is a particular moment that I am very, very excited, but I don’t want to say it because I don’t want to spoil it. You know, I will say, I will say there is this other moment that is a lot of fun in the book. And when it plays out on screen, it’s, you know, it’s our version.
It’s very, it’s very different. I’m really fascinated to see how people feel about that. You know, I think, I think we, we went for it, you know, we always swung for the fences on this one. So I’d be interested in hearing from the fans about that. But again, I don’t want to give anything away. You’re asking hard questions.
About Beacon 23
“BEACON 23” takes place in the farthest reaches of the Milky Way and follows Aster (Lena Headey), a government agent, and Halan (Stephan James), a stoic ex-military man, whose fates become entangled after they find themselves trapped together inside one of many Beacons that serve as a lighthouse for intergalactic travelers. Every Beacon is run by one highly trained human and a specialized Artificial Intelligence. Aster mysteriously finds her way to the lonely beacon keeper Halan, and a tense battle of wills unfolds. Halan begins to question whether Aster is friend or foe, as her ability to disguise her agenda and motives could make her a formidable opponent.
Produced by Boat Rocker, Zak Penn and Glen Mazzara served as executive producers alongside David Fortier, Ivan Schneeberg, James Middleton, Nick Nantell, Tina Thor, Katie O’Connell Marsh, Elisa Ellis, Liz Varner, Ira Steven Behr, Daniel Percival, Joy Blake, Lena Headey, and Stephan James.