Pack a basket and a crisp Chardonnay. Matthew Goode, a veteran of The Goodwife and Downton Abbey TV series which both ended earlier this year, has been cast as Red in the Roadside Picnic TV series pilot for WGN America.
A sci-fi project rather than an actual outdoor lunch, Roadside Picnic is based upon the 1971 Arkady and Boris Strugatsky Russian novel. Set in the near-future, after aliens have come to and gone from Earth, Roadside Picnic is written by Jack Paglen. Alan Taylor is directing the pilot. Neal Moritz is executive producing withVivian Cannon.
Here is more, from Deadline:
Roadside Picnic explores a near-future world where aliens have come and gone, leaving humankind to explore the wondrous and dangerous mysteries left behind. The story also explores the social ramifications of their visit, as seen through the eyes of Red (Goode), a veteran “stalker” who has made it his mission to illegally venture into the once inhabited zone and scavenge the abandoned remains of the alien culture.
Goode’s Red is described as an “enigmatic, blue-collar contradiction” who can be quietly intelligent one moment — and utterly ruthless the next. Red has a loving relationship with his wife Guta and his daughter Marie — who is shunned because she is a child of the “Zone,” the site of a long-ago extraterrestrial visitation. Red used to be a “Stalker” — one of the brave souls willing to risk their lives by illegally entering the Zone to sell what they find on the black market. Red, recently out of prison, finds his troubles are just beginning.
What do you think? How do you like the sound of the Roadside Picnic TV show pilot? If WGN America orders it to series, do you plan to watch? Who else should be cast?