Could we have the next Game of Thrones on our hands? Author Ursula K. LeGuin‘s Earthsea fantasy book series, which ran from 1968 to 2001, is in development as an adapted television series from A24 and producer Jennifer Fox (Nightcrawler, Michael Clayton).
Per Deadline, A24 will serve as the studio behind the book-to-TV adaptation and will finance the project. Fox will serve as a producer. The in-development project will be shopped around to networks soon, too. This will be the second time LeGuin’s Earthsea series has been adapted for TV, following a 2004 series which aired on the Sci-Fi Channel.
The Earthsea series (also known as “The Earthsea Cycle”) began with the publication of A Wizard of Earthsea in 1968. The novel focused on Ged, a young and powerful sorcerer in the fictional world of Earthsea whose quest for power accidentally let loose an evil across the land that only he could stop. LeGuin wrote four more novels over the course of the next four decades, ending the series with 2001’s The Other Wind. The author continued to write short stories set in Earthsea, the final one being “Firelight” which was published in The Paris Review in 2018.
Fox, who optioned the book series in 2018 and received LeGuin’s blessing shortly before her death that same year, released a statement on what it means to finally move ahead with this project.
“Ursula Le Guin is a literary legend with a huge fan base and her work has been translated into practically every written language on the globe. She is second only to Tolkien in influence in this genre and before she died last year, she agreed to put her most beloved work in my hands. This project is, therefore, a sacred trust and priority for me as well as an opportunity to create an iconic piece of American culture.”
LeGuin’s son, Theo Downes-LeGuin, also shared a statement about this Earthsea adaptation going forward:
“Ursula long hoped to see an adaptation of Earthsea that represented a collaboration between her ideas and words, and the visual storytelling of others. I feel very fortunate that, with Jennifer Fox and A24, we have a bedrock of producing and development experience that can bring the sweeping narrative and moral truths of my mother’s work to screen.”
On the heels of HBO’s incredible, nearly decade-long success with its adaptation of George R. R. Martin‘s Game of Thrones series, it seems numerous plays have been made to create the next, big high-fantasy hit. Netflix will be bringing The Witcher to its subscribers later this year and Amazon is not only working on a Lord of the Rings TV series as we speak but has secured the rights to the very ambitious Wheel of Time series which will star Rosamund Pike. We’ll have to wait and see how A24 and Fox’s Earthsea fares among these new entries.