Jonathan Frakes of Star Trek Fame Signs with Web3 Studio

Credit: Paramount

Jeff Garzik, an early Bitcoin developer, just signed a big star to direct an adaptation of the post-apocalyptic science-fiction novel “Deathland” for an upcoming TV series.

Jonathan Frakes, best known for his role as Commander Riker on ´Star Trek: The Next Generation,´ will be directing the show from NextCypher, Garzik’s Web3 production company. Frakes already has television directing credits to his name, including ´Star Trek: Picard,´ ´Star Trek: Strange New Worlds,´ and ´Leverage Redemption.´

The TV series will be based on a series of novels by authors Jack Adrian and James Axler. The tale follows a group of survivors traveling via teleportation technology in an environment of “post-AI driven chaos.” Garzik said, “It’s post-apocalyptic, Mad Max meets AI meets the monster from ´Tremors.´”

NextCypher also intends to launch a collection of 1,138 multi-pass NFTs that are not tied to one production. Holders of the Genesis multi-pass NFTs will receive gated access to downloadable NFTs, competitions, events, as well as first dibs and discounted rates on the forthcoming ´Deathland´ NFTs. There will also be initiatives to involve the community to design costumes, sets, and props, and a “rare trip to Sofia, Bulgaria” where the show is being filmed.

Garzik is most known for his role as a key developer on the Bitcoin Core project. In 2022, he founded NextCypher Productions with the mission to create sci-fi TV and films with Web3 technologies. He is also the co-founder of SpaceChain, Bloq, and Vesper Finance.

As for funding, the company will take a “hybrid approach,” mixing traditional financing methods with Web3 elements. Garzik believes if his company proves that they can “actually produce,” more doors for Web3 funding will open.

Web3 Technologies Enter the Film Industry

This might be the first time we’ve seen an iconic Bitcoin developer build a production company to create science-fiction entertainment, but it isn’t the first Web3 film project to come across our desks. Here are three of the most recent stories involving Web3 in film.

First, in October 2023, an NFT funded film by Spanish director Miguel Fuas called “The Quiet Made” secured a global sales deal. In January of the same year, the film won a $100,000 award at the Sundance Film Festival from Decentralized Pictures.

Next, in May 2023, the movie production company Legend Holdings filed Web3 trademark applications for Godzilla x King Kong: The New Empire. The trademarks were related to VR headsets, NFTs, cryptocurrency, and downloadable virtual goods and wearables.

Finally, about a year ago, an annual festival for indie filmmakers called the Slamdance Film Festival, held in Utah, debuted movies that were funded by a blockchain crowdfunding company called The company uses NFTs and blockchain technology to help producers fund films.

In the past, producers needed to secure millions of dollars, usually from a couple of sources, to fund a feature film. Because Web3 tech enables the decentralization and democratization of film funding, many think it could transform the industry.

Either way, Deathland, the new sci-fi series directed by a ´Star Trek´ veteran sounds like it could be a lot of fun for fans.