Books By Victoria Schwab and Margaret Peterson Haddix Are In Development from The Vampire Diaries’ Co-Creator

With First Kill under her screenwriter belt, Victoria (V.E.) Schwab is moving on to an adaptation of another one of her novels. Alongside producer/writer Julie Plec (The Vampire Diaries), Schwab is set to adapt This Savage Song as a series for Universal Television.

It’s part of an ambitious development slate for Plec, who is also developing Clifton, a series based on Margaret Peterson Haddix’s YA novel Running Out of Time.

Clifton is about a 17-year-old girl, Jazzie Smith, who lives in an island village called Clifton, which Variety describes as “a sanctuary for runaway slaves and others who fled the United States at the height of the Civil War.” When a “mysterious stranger” washes up on the beach, their presence uncovers long-held secrets about the island.

Running Out of Time was well-received when it was publishing in 1995, earning starred reviews and awards. Years later, viewers (and the author) noted the similarities between the novel’s story and M. Night Shyamalan’s film The Village. 

This Savage Song is the first book in Schwab’s Monsters of Verity duology, which takes place in a world where acts of violence create actual monsters. The summary reads:

Kate Harker and August Flynn are the heirs to a divided city—a city where the violence has begun to breed actual monsters. All Kate wants is to be as ruthless as her father, who lets the monsters roam free and makes the humans pay for his protection. All August wants is to be human, as good-hearted as his own father, to play a bigger role in protecting the innocent—but he’s one of the monsters. One who can steal a soul with a simple strain of music.

When the chance arises to keep an eye on Kate, who’s just been kicked out of her sixth boarding school and returned home, August jumps at it. But Kate discovers August’s secret, and after a failed assassination attempt the pair must flee for their lives.

The novel was previously in development as a movie, with eventual Obi-Wan Kenobi producer/writer Joby Harold set to produce.

Netflix’s First Kill was the first Schwab adaptation to make it to screens, but several more are in the works. Last year, an intriguing series adaptation of City of Ghosts was announced, with The Green Knight‘s David Lowery set to direct and co-write (with Sehaj Sethi). Lowery is also co-writing an adaptation of Schwab’s The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue with Augustine Frizzell, who will direct.

Two other Schwab adaptations were announced some time ago, but there’s been no word since then. In 2019, John Wick writer Derek Kolstad was attached to an adaptation of A Darker Shade of Magic, and that same year, The CW was reportedly working on an adaptation of The Archived.


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