Good news for fantasy fans! Filmmakers have been pretty busy scooping up film and television rights to adapt fantasy novels. While a right purchase does not guarantee that an adaptation will ever reach audiences, you may nevertheless soon get to see your favorite fantasy worlds onscreen or, if you've never read the stories, see which fantasy worlds might be the next Westeros. Here's a roundup of fantasy books which, should all the stars align, may be making their way to the screen…
Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri
The central character of Tasha Suri's Mughal India-inspired young adult fantasy is Mehr, the illegitimate daughter of an imperial governor and an exiled Amrithi mother. The Amrithi, nomads who are the descendants of desert spirits, are nomadic outcasts. They are persecuted for the power that runs through their blood. Mehr has inherited that power and, when she attracts the attentions of Emperor's fearful mystics, must use it to resist their cruel intentions. Two production companies thought well enough of Empire of Sand to scoop up television rights in a six-figure deal. Sadia Ash is writing the pilot for the potential series.
Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James
Michael B. Jordan's production company & Warner Bros picked up film right to James's epic novel Black Leopard, Red Wolf, which was widely lauded by critics. The book combines myth, fantasy, and history in a story about a mercenary named Tracker who is hired to find a missing child. The trail is three years old and Tracker, breaking his own rule, bands together with others to find the boy. Ancient cities, life-threatening creatures and deceptions mark this imaginative tale based in African mythology, the first of the Dark Star trilogy.
The Ruin of Kings by Jenn Lyons
Released this past February (and picked as one of the month's best reads), Ruin of Kings is an epic fantasy that turns the "long lost prince" trope on its head. Kihrin is living in the slums working as a thief when a treasonous prince declared Kihrin to be his son. At the mercy of a royal court armed with a devastating prophecy, Kihrin learns that his future is definitely not filled with glitter and gold. Kihrin's destiny is to destroy the world. Annapurna Television has optioned the television rights to The Ruin of Kings, the first book of a projected five-book series.
The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
Nobody can outdo the classic 1939 film The Wizard of Oz, the most famous adaptation of Baum's beloved classic. So Ed Ricourt, the director of Now You See Me, is trying to go one better. He will write and produce a new television series for Legendary Entertainment based on Baum's classic series. Being portrayed on the larger storytelling canvas of television, the untitled series will extend beyond the first book, dipping into Baum's thirteen sequels, covering the return of a long-exiled witch, war in Oz, and a cavalcade of characters never before seen on screen.
The Wayward Children Series by Seanan McGuire
Legendary TV is also producing a series based on Seanan McGuire's entertaining Wayward Children series, which is currently comprised of the novellas Every Heart a Doorway, Down Among the Sticks and Bones, Beneath the Sugar Sky, and In an Absent Dream. Joe Tracz (A Series of Unfortunate Events) will adapt the books for SyFy.
The series is about a boarding school for children who have stepped through portals to other worlds and became heroes or monsters…only to eventually return to our world and deal with the adjustments of the mundane, non-magical reality around them.
Homerooms and Hall Passes by Tom O'Donnell
O'Donnell's children's book is described as "an upside-down take on Dungeons & Dragons". In the fantasy realm of Bríandalör—a land of dark dungeons, dangerous monsters and evil wizards—a group of young friends get together to play the game Homerooms & Hall Passes, a role-playing game where they assume the characters of average American eighth graders. Then they are transported to a modern suburbia of that world (our world) for real, thanks to an ancient curse. You can find out if they survive middle school when New Line adapts this fun fantasy story. Roll a 1d4 to see how long it will take to get to theaters.
Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch
Aaronovitch's Rivers of London (released as Midnight Riot in the U.S.) is the first in a series of novels and stories about Peter Grant, a police constable turned magician's apprentice in London, who solves mysteries tinged with supernatural elements. The series blends detective fiction with urban fantasy in a way that readers love. The Peter Grant series has already been adapted as a comic book, but now Simon Pegg and Nick Frost (who worked together on the film Shaun of the Dead) have purchased television rights. They hope to turn this fin story into an eight-hour movie.
History of The Runestaff by Michael Moorcock
Moorcock is well-known for his epic tales of the Eternal Champion—a hero who exists in all dimensions, times and worlds and who assumes the form of lead characters in several of the author's series. One of those incarnations is Dorian Hawkmoon, the hero of The History of the Runestaff, an influential series of four fantasy novels first published between 1967 and 1969 and comprised of The Jewel In The Skull, The Mad God's Amulet, The Sword Of The Dawn, and The Runestaff. (Hawkmoon later returned in yet another trilogy, The Chronicles of Castle Brass.) The story is set in a far-future version of Great Britain, now led by tyrannical rule, where German exile and resistance fighter Hawkmoon goes up against them. BBC Studios acquired the television rights to Moorcock's classic omnibus, and—good news for fans—Moorcock himself says he will be working closely with the writers.