P. Djéli Clark’s latest novella Ring Shout is on its way to a TV near you: Skydance Television has picked up the rights to the book, according to Variety—with The Old Guard actress KiKi Layne tapped to star.
The novella is set in Georgia in the 1920s as the Ku Klux Klan has been gaining power across the South—though in this reality, the KKK is a united front of humans (Klans) and otherworldly monsters (Ku Kluxes) from another dimension bent on taking over our world.
As they move toward that end, they’re challenged by a young Black woman named Maryse Boudreaux (presumably now to be played by Layne) and her allies, Sadie, Cordelia, and Nana Jean. While Boudreaux and her friends work to kill off every monster that they come across, they stumble on a KKK plot to entrance the nation with D.W. Griffith’s film Birth of a Nation, leading to a cinematic showdown at Stone Mountain.
According to Variety, Kasi Lemmons (director of 2019’s Harriet) will write, direct, and act as showrunner for the series. Clark will also act as executive producer. When reached for comment, Clark replied:
How I’m feeling? Ecstatic and a little in a daze. I loved this story. I loved writing this story. Still, I never expected so many people to love it back. And for that I’m humbled and grateful. Being an executive producer (I can’t even believe I’m saying that!) will be a brand new role for me and I’m looking at this like a learning process, where I also get to share some ideas. I’ve had great energetic conversations with Marc Evans at Skydance, and with amazing talents like Kiki Layne and Kasi Lemmons and I’m certain this story is in the best hands–who can give it the empathy and creativity needed for a visual adaptation. I’m as eager as everyone else to see where they take it!
There’s no word on when or where the series—once it makes it through the development process—will end up. For an except of the novella, click here, and for Alex Brown’s review of Ring Shout, head here.