With news of Tomi Adeyemi’s bestselling debut novel hitting the big screen in adaption and Rick Famuyiwa, Nigerian-American director (who has written and directed outstanding films like The Wood, Brown Sugar and Dope), being tapped to direct the adaption gaining wide acclaim. The Fox/Disney acquisition of the epic fantasy film based on the bestselling novel by Nigerian-American author Tomi Adeyemi is set to be scripted by This Is Us writer Kay Oyegun, reports Deadline. However, the report continues that Lucasfilm is looking forward to making this the first feature property to be produced by Lucasfilm since the Disney acquisition that isn’t part of the Star Wars or Indiana Jones franchise.
About the bestselling debut, the logline reads: “Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zélie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls. Everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope. Now Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good. Danger lurks in Orïsha, where snow leoponaires prowl and vengeful spirits wait in the waters. Yet the greatest danger may be Zélie herself as she struggles to control her powers—and her growing feelings for an enemy.”
Earlier this year, Kay Oyegun’s feature spec, Assisted Living, was the subject of a bidding battle that was won by Paramount Pictures. Her work on This Is Us also nabbed her the award for ‘Best Writing in a Dramatic Series’ at this year’s the NAACP awards. As the list of pre-production and production team increases, there’s no doubt we are in for a big screen treat.
The novel was published by Henry Holt Books for Young Readers, and a follow-up, Children of Virtue and Vengeance, is set to hit shelves by December 3.