It’s been years since there’s been any news on a Broken Earth adaptation—but now there’s news, and it’s extremely good. Deadline reports that rights to N. K. Jemisin’s award-winning trilogy have been won by TriStar Pictures in a seven-figure deal—and that Jemisin is adapting her books for the screen herself.
In 2017, the day after the publication of the third book in the series, a television adaptation of The Broken Earth was announced, but there had been no news about that project for quite some time. It seems safe to assume that only the newly announced film adaptation is currently in the works—especially given Jemisin’s tweet about the project:
Sssssso, folks have been asking me for updates on the Broken Earth tv/film adaptation for a while, and I haven't been able to say anything… because a lot's been happening. But at last, I can share: https://t.co/D9F9nDtN96
— N. K. Jemisin (@nkjemisin) June 4, 2021
The Broken Earth is set on the single continent of a world that endures periodic climate catastrophes—the “Fifth Seasons” from which the first novel gets its name. A small number of people, called orogenes, can manipulate energy from the earth, including stopping—or causing—earthquakes. Much of society fears the orogenes, who endure a brutal training process in order to learn to control their powers. The first novel in the trilogy, The Fifth Season, has three main characters, Essun, Damaya, and Syenite, all orogenes in different time periods, each dealing with the intense challenges and threats of their tumultuous continent and society.
With The Broken Earth, Jemisin was the first person to win the Hugo Award three years in a row, and the first to win the award for all three books in a trilogy. The film announcement has very few details; it’s unclear whether the adaptations will also be a trilogy, or if Jemisin will have room to stretch a little bit. Her detailed worldbuilding is paired with an intricate and immersive story that would be incredibly hard to fit into six hours.
An adaptation of Jemisin’s earlier series, The Inheritance Trilogy, was also announced this year. It’s too early for there to be any news on casting or production for either.