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Amazon wants its own Stranger Things, and may have found it in a Swedish artist (update)

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Tales From the Loop, also a tabletop RPG, has been signed to a TV deal

Tales From the Loop - four kids with three towers in the background Simon Stålenhag

This year’s Emmy nominations are a clear indication of the power of Netflix’s content pipeline, and competitors like Amazon are eager to catch up. That may be part of the reason that the mega-corporation’s streaming service has signed on to produce a television series based on Tales From the Loop, a world created by Sweden’s Simon Stålenhag.

Stålenhag rose to prominence with a massively successful Kickstarter project to produce a two-volume set of his artwork, which blends pastoral scenes with wild robotics and futuristic machinery. Later, that world was the seed used to create a successful independent pen-and-paper RPG. Both works were titled Tales From the Loop.

From our colleagues The Verge:

Simon Stålenhag’s artwork is well-known for its blending of 1980s suburbia with the fantastic. Giant robots roam the empty countrysides of Sweden, while sleek buildings loom in the distance. It’s the perfect environment in which to channel something like Stranger Things. ...

Stålenhag’s art is the central focus as players play a group of teenagers in the late 1980s, after a Swedish particle accelerator known as the Loop malfunctioned and caused some strange things to happen in their backyard. If you loved Stranger Things, and wanted to play your own version, Stålenhag’s artwork feels like it’s drawing on many of the same influences and desire for nostalgia.

Amazon has contracted for an eight-episode drama, to be co-produced by Fox 21 TV Studios and Amazon Studios. Nathaniel Halpern (Legion) will act as showrunner and executive producer. The pilot will be directed by Mark Romanek (Never Let Me Go), who will serve as an executive producer along with Halpern. Other members of the leadership team include executive producers with ties to Felicity, Netflix’s Away and Fox’s The Passage. The Swedish flavor will be guaranteed with the help of a Swedish production and management company. No premiere window has been set.

If you’re interested in the game itself, you can head over to Free League Publishing for a copy. The system has been nominated for multiple awards, including an ENnie nomination as one of 2017’s best RPGs. You can find more of Stålenhag’s work at his website.

Update: An earlier version of this article indicated that the show was based on the tabletop RPG. Instead, it’s based on Stålenhag’s broader body of work. We’ve amended the article to reflect that.