Larry Niven’s sci-fi classic Ringworld is being adapted by Amazon to become part of the Prime Video line-up.
It’s still early days, but hopefully it won’t be too long before the show joins the current ranks of futuristic thrillers like The Expanse, Star Trek: Picard and others that are available on the streaming service. Here’s everything we know so far about Ringworld.
When is the release date for Ringworld?
There’s little in the way of confirmed details about when Ringworld might make its debut, but news about the project has been circulating for a couple of years now.
The SyFy channel intended to adapt the novel back in 2004 and then again ten years later, but the project floundered. This led to Amazon picking up the rights in 2017 and announcing that the show would go ahead, joined by other sci-fi projects Snow Crash and Lazarus.
Ringworld isn’t the only classic sci-fi adaptation heading to screens soon, with Isaac Asimov’s Foundation TV show and the movie version of Frank Herbert’s Dune both well underway. The lack of news, plus the inevitable delays caused by Covid, does suggest though that it could be at least 2022 before Ringworld finally arrives.
What is the plot of Ringworld?
The novel Ringworld, written in the 1970s, is part of Niven’s ‘Known Space’ series and follows the story of Louis Wu, who is celebrating his 200th birthday.
Thanks to evolutions in healthcare, and a drug called Boosterspice, Louis is still in his prime and decides to accept a job offer to travel to the mysterious Ringworld that’s been discovered in an unexplored area of space. This is an alien construction, built as a huge circular station, that appears to support human life - can you tell that it influenced Halo?
What will he find when he gets there? And who are the builders of this object that measures 180 million miles across, with a sun at its centre?
While we expect the TV show to follow the plot of the original novel pretty closely, it should be noted that Larry Niven also wrote three sequels – The Ringworld Engineers, The Ringworld Throne, and Ringworld’s Children – not to mention co-writing four prequels. So, if the series is a success, then there's plenty of material to keep it going for multiple seasons.
Who are the cast and crew of Ringworld?
At the time of writing there are no details at all on the cast of Ringworld. This further suggests that the show could still be a way off in terms of being completed.
What we do know is that writing duties have been taken up by Akiva Goldsman, who has a strong Sci-Fi resume under his belt. As well as producing shows like Star Trek: Picard, Titans, Star Trek: Discovery, Childhood’s End and Fringe, not to mention the upcoming Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, he also wrote multiple episodes for all of them, alongside screenplays for movies including I Am Legend, I, Robot, and Lost In Space.
The director’s chair will be occupied by Alan Taylor, who has previously helmed episodes of TV shows including Game of Thrones, The Sopranos, Mad Men and others, plus the feature films Terminator: Genisys and Thor: The Dark World.
How can I watch Ringworld?
As Ringworld is an Amazon Original production, you’ll need to be signed up to Amazon Prime to access the Prime Video streaming service on which the show will appear.
With Amazon Prime Day set for June this year, it might be worth signing up to the £7.99/US$12.99 per month subscription, as it will not only let you watch the TV shows and movies currently available but also give you access to the expected deals that will appear in the sale.
Of course, if you want to prepare for the upcoming adaptation of Ringworld, you can start out by reading the book, which is also available on Amazon.