George R. R. Martin’s ‘Sandkings’ Netflix Movie: What We Know So Far

Tigran Asatryan What's on Netflix Avatar

sand kings netflix movie everything we know so far

Gore Verbinski – Picture: Getty Images

Netflix is developing yet another big-budget fantasy film in its effort to ramp up the film productions. This time it’s Sandkings, an adaptation of George R. R. Martin’s (Game of Thrones) short story of the same name. Developed by veteran director Gore Verbinski (Pirates of the Caribbean), the project was recently announced by Verbinski himself.

Verbinski, who is known for his work on Pirates of the Caribbean, Rango and A Cure for Wellness, is teaming up with writer Dennis Kelly, creator of Utopia and writer for The Third Day and the upcoming Matilda musical on Netflix. Verbinski revealed his plans in an interview with Collider:

“One of the screenplays is based on a George R.R. Martin short story called Sandkings, which is this brilliant little twisted short story that I love. And I’m working with a great writer, Dennis Kelly, who wrote the original [Utopia]… The British original series is brilliant. And Dennis is doing the adaptation, so I’m kind of excited about that.”

sandkings prod

Netflix’s Sandkings will be produced by John Baldecci, who produced Verbinski’s 2001 feature The Mexican, for his Digital Riot Media production company. The company also produced 2017’s Happy Death Day.

What is the plot of Sandkings?


Netflix’s Sandkings is based on George R. R. Martins’s 1979 short story of the same name for which he received a Hugo award. Here is the logline for Netflix’s Sandkings:

When Simon Kress returned to his home planet of Baldur from an offworld business trip, he was amused to find that his tank of Earth piranhas had cannibalized themselves into extinction, and of the two exotic animals that roamed his estate, only one remained. Now, in search of some new pets to satisfy his cruel pursuit of amusement, Simon finds a new shop in the city where he is intrigued by a new lifeform he has never heard of before … a collection of multi-colored sandkings. The curator explains that the insect-like animals, no larger than Simon’s fingernails, are not insects, but animals with a highly-evolved hive intelligence capable of staging wars between the different colors, and even religion–in the form of worship of their owner. The curator’s warning to Simon about the regularity of their feeding, unfortunately, was not taken seriously.

In 1995, Sandkings was adapted into a telefilm which served as Syfy’s The Outer Limits anthology series relaunch.

Is George R. R. Martin attached to Netflix’s Sandkings?

1200px George R R Martin 2

No, as per his contract, George R. R. Martin works exclusively with HBO on their films and TV series. Mainly based on the A Song of Ice and Fire universe (i.e. Game of Thrones prequels), but not limited to that. So he cannot work on Netflix’s Sandkings.

Who is cast in Sandkings?

As of March 2021, no cast members of Netflix’s Sandkings have been announced.

What is the production status on Netflix’s Sandkings?

Current production status: Development (Last updated: 03/04/2021)

Netflix’s Sandkings is currently in its first steps of development and no filming dates are known as of March 2021.

When will Sandkings be released on Netflix?

Considering the current production status, we wouldn’t expect Sandkings to be released on Netflix in 2021. 2022 is more likely and 2023 is possible as well.

Written by

Tigran is our resident previews writer. He works on collecting everything known about upcoming Netflix Original projects and also is editor-in-chief of Redanian Intelligence. Resides in France.