Black Panther star Michael B. Jordan has signed on to adapt Marlon James’ epic fantasy novel Black Leopard, Red Wolf for Warner Bros. Jordan will produce with his company Outlier Society, which co-produced the HBO adaptation of Fahrenheit 451 in which Jordan starred.
Described as an African Game of Thrones, James’ novel follows a mercenary named Tracker following his nose through fantastical Africa in search of a missing boy and, even more crucial, the truth behind the boy’s disappearance.
More on the novel, the first installment in the Dark Star trilogy:
Tracker is known far and wide for his skills as a hunter: “He has a nose,” people say. Engaged to track down a mysterious boy who disappeared three years earlier, Tracker breaks his own rule of always working alone when he finds himself part of a group that comes together to search for the boy. The band is a hodgepodge, full of unusual characters with secrets of their own, including a shape-shifting man-animal known as Leopard.
As Tracker follows the boy’s scent—from one ancient city to another; into dense forests and across deep rivers—he and the band are set upon by creatures intent on destroying them. As he struggles to survive, Tracker starts to wonder: Who, really, is this boy? Why has he been missing for so long? Why do so many people want to keep Tracker from finding him? And perhaps the most important questions of all: Who is telling the truth, and who is lying?
Outlier Society signed a first-look deal with Warner Bros. in late January, with Jordan calling the studio “the perfect home for myself, my brilliant president of production Alana Mayo and Outlier Society. I have a tremendous amount of respect for their visionary leadership and commitment to producing a broad slate of films, which gives us more range and more opportunity as producers. Most importantly, they share my passion for telling unique, creatively fulfilling stories and giving a voice to the next generation of talent.” Outlier Society is one of the first production companies to publicly adopt inclusion riders, which require studios to hire a diverse cast/crew on future projects. This adaptation marks Jordan’s first project with Warner Bros. since signing that deal.
Black Leopard, Red Wolf was published February 5 by Riverhead Books. Read our review.