The producers behind Syfy's new series The Magicians want fans of the source material to be sure of one thing: Author Lev Grossman isn't disappointed in the adaptation and you shouldn't be either.
During the series' panel at NBCUniversal Cable's day at the Television Critics Assocation's Winter Press Tour, executive producers Sera Gamble and Michael London spoke on how they approached Grossman's trilogy and detailed his involvement in the adaptation.
"I think our main goal with this show is to stay true to the spirit of the book," Gamble said. "There's so much about the feeling and the world-building that Lev Grossman did really compelled us, so the process in the writer's room is sort of the Talmudic interpretation of Lev's text. Sometimes we veer left, sometimes we find another way into the door, but I think most of the big plot points that people love in the books, we're getting to them."
"We also worked very close with Lev and Lev is part of the process all along the way," London added. "So if we made any left turns or right turns, it was always with his blessing and cooperation."
The Magicians centers on Quentin Coldwater (Jason Ralph), a grad student chosen to attend Brakebills University for Magical Pedagogy, a secret university in New York specializing in magic. Over time, he and his friend discover that the magical fantasy world they read about as children is all too real—and all too dangerous.
As Ralph's co-star Olivia Taylor Dudley explained during the panel, Grossman has also made himself available to the cast for help understanding their characters. "He's been so supportive the whole time. He came up and visited us in Vancouver, he was on set for a few days. He was just so excited to see his characters come to life and to see all the different things that we've done to them and getting to branch out from the books and bring them back to the books," she said. "It's nice to know we have somebody in our corner who we can just email and call and say, ‘What would Alice do in this situation if you were writing her in this? And he volunteers that information. It's been a wonderful collaboration."
The Magicians, which also stars Stella Maeve, Arjun Gupta, Hale Appleman, and Summer Bishil, premieres Monday, Jan. 25 at 9 p.m. on Syfy.
(E! and Syfy are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)