TALES FROM THE VERNIVERSE
Jules Verne created rich, layered futuristic worlds populated with compelling characters in fantastic settings. MASTERS: ASCENSION is the latest continuation of that illustrious literary tradition, building upon a newly discovered novel and combining elements of some of his most famous work.
In translating Verne’s vision into a multi-platform entertainment franchise, we have used the original novel as a springboard, taking its story, characters and events and treating them as backstory. This informs an ongoing series of new, contemporary stories built on the rich foundation created in the original text—leaving us free to visit the past as prequel whenever it suits the pacing of the series.
This approach honors the original material and stays true to the spirit of Jules Verne’s work while also providing an unlimited opportunity to build upon that foundation and create new adventures, characters and storylines sure to thrill modern day audiences across all mediums and platforms.
STORY - SEASON I
An airplane carrying high value U.S. prisoners crashes on an apparently deserted island. The survivors work together under the leadership of Jem, a inmate haunted by his violent past, who commands the respect of both guards and detainees.
A tense situation is exacerbated when the castaways discover that the island is already populated by a society built on Eastern philosophy, mysticism, and martial arts combined with an advanced form of 19th century European engineering.
These natives have separated into two groups: the pure-blooded original islanders who have maintained their mystical traditions and connections to the natural world, and those who mixed with shipwrecked Austrian sailors over one hundred years before. This latter group have replaced their mystical traditions with a love and mastery of technology, and the balance between the two groups has led to a nearly utopian society, unencumbered by any interference or corruption from the outside world.
The prisoners’ arrival disrupts this balance as the princess Eve, who is meant to ascend the throne with her pure-blood fiancé, falls instead for Jem. Their relationship - along with tensions arising from the behavior of the more disturbed prisoners - fractures the society, and the threat of civil war emerges for the first time.
Just when things can’t get any worse, a group of mercenaries looking for the prisoners land on the island. This precipitates the war that all had hoped to avoid, and, in the ensuing battles love, loyalty, friendship and honor are put to the test…
SEASON II & BEYOND
While the original book Masters: Ascension is the launching pad for the series, our concept for Seasons II - X is to go above and beyond the confines of the book’s characters. The world Jules Verne created - the “Verniverse” if you will - is so extensive, and the characters so diverse, that there is an endless array of stories to be told.
After the initial war has been fought peace and trust need to be re-established between the various groups on the island… and the burning question of wether to interact with the outside world needs to be answered.
Much like Game of Thrones, we will follow characters on disparate journeys that all interconnect and, ultimately, collide to answer the questions posed in the pilot regarding love, identity, and the how they interact.
LOOK & FEEL
While we build on the original text and adapt it for a modern audience as a multi-platform franchise, we will employ a rich and nuanced visual style that brings this world to life with its own unique, compelling aesthetic.
The mix of Chinese philosophy, mysticism and martial arts with turn of the century European technology and engineering, combined and influenced by the established Jules Verne design sensibility suggests a new take on the Steam Punk genre.
This approach is both visually arresting and scientifically grounded while also providing a strong visual comparison between the islanders and new arrivals’ weapons, machines, tactics and communications.
Masters: Ascension is ripe for exploration across all media. Given Jules Verne's existing world-wide fan base and the rich legacy of public domain characters and worlds he left behind, the opportunity for this story to go far beyond the initial material is substantial.
With the story's mix of action, adventure, unique characters and compelling visuals, Masters of Tempest will naturally extend into film, television, video games and more.
Additionally, it is perfectly suited as a true Multi-Platform/Transmedia vehicle with different platforms telling different aspects of the overall story and focusing on different components of this world as well as its place in the overall Jules Verne universe of content.
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