Once the fantasy genre was for geeks and nerds, but in the last couple of decades thanks to the likes of The Lord of The Rings movies and Game of Thrones, the genre is now big business as Sony Pictures Entertainment have proven by shelling out another seven figure sum to acquire the rights to a second fantasy book trilogy. Coming under Sony’s TriStar Pictures brand, The Broken Earth trilogy by N.K. Jemisin announcement comes in the same week that Sony, partnering with 3000 Pictures, acquired the City of Fire trilogy by Don Winslow for a similar hefty sum.
While not as well known as other works in production such as Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series, or obviously Amazon’s Tolkien based Lord of The Rings series, the book series has sold millions since its first installment arrived in 2015, and it also comes with some pretty impressive credentials to back up the multi-million dollar price tag. The first book in the series won the Hugo Award for Best Novel, the Sputnik Award and was nominated for the World Fantasy Award for Best Novel and the Nebula Award. That in itself may be impressive, but what takes it one step further is that the second and third books also won the Hugo Award, making Jemisin the first person to win for all three books in a trilogy and the first to win in three consecutive years.
The Fifth Season, the first book in the trilogy, brings readers into a harsh Earth of the future, and more specifically the location of Stillness, a continent where apocalyptic events are a seasonal thing which wreaks havoc among the inhabitants. When each “season” passes, the communities rebuild what has been lost and prepare for it to happen all over again. Most of the rebuilding is done by “orogenes”, people trained from childhood in a terrible and brutal way by an order called the Guardians. Using their minds and powers, these orogenes try to hold the world together and limit the devastation caused by events on the continent. The Obelisk Gate and The Stone Sky complete the series, developing the world introduced in The Fifth Season and bringing the story to a powerful conclusion that delivered it rave reviews by many critics.
Jemisin, who comes from Brooklyn, New York, previously won the Locus Award for her first novel, The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, which was released in 2010, and has received numerous award nominations for her other novels and short stories. She is a fantasy and science fiction reviewer for the New York Times. With many other novels to her name, it is safe to say that if the series proves to be a big hit, we could see more of her work being developed for screen in the near future.
The project is being overseen by Shary Shirazi and Rikki Jarrett, while Jemisin is adapting the books herself. With the type of money spend acquiring the rights, I think we can expect to see some big names being attached to it as it moves closer to production. This news originated at Deadline.
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