Last year, news broke that the adaptation of Tomi Adeyemi’s Children of Blood and Bone had been picked up by Disney. At that point, Lucasfilm’s Kathleen Kennedy was in talks to make the film a Lucasfilm property—and last week, during their Investor Day presentation, Disney confirmed it: Lucasfilm, in partnership with 20th Century Fox, will bring Adeyemi’s bestselling novel to the screen.
Tomi Adeyemi’s New York Times bestselling novel Children of Blood & Bone is being developed by Lucasfilm in partnership with 20th Century Studios. This coming-of-age adventure follows a young African girl’s quest to restore magic to her forsaken people, the Maji.
— Disney (@Disney) December 10, 2020
This adaptation has been in the works since February of 2019, when The Hollywood Reporter broke the news. Back then, Rick Famuyiwa was attached to direct. It’s unclear whether he’s still on board; last year, Deadline reported that the film has a new screenwriter, This Is Us writer Kay Oyegun. But given that Famuyiwa has a relationship with Lucasfilm (he wrote and directed last week’s episode of The Mandalorian), there’s every chance he’ll still direct.
Children of Blood and Bone tells the story of Zélie Adebola, who must bring magic back to her land. Here’s the publisher’s summary:
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.
But 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.
The novel was an instant bestseller and a best book of the year everywhere from Buzzfeed to NPR when it was published in 2018; its sequel, Children of Virtue and Vengeance, came out the next year. This fall, Adeyemi was named one of TIME‘s most influential people.
There’s no word yet on casting or production timeline.