Stephen Colbert is one of us—at least when it comes to being a fantasy fan. The well-known Lord of the Rings fan is now throwing his hat in the television production realm, joining the team working on a long-gestating adaptation of Roger Zelazny’s Chronicles of Amber series.
In 2016, Skybound Entertainment announced that the series was in the works, with The Walking Dead’s Robert Kirkman also on board. Though it’s been nearly seven years, this team is still in place, alongside Vincent Newman Entertainment and now Colbert’s production company, Spartina. Variety reports that Colbert said, “I’ve carried the story of Corwin in my head for over 40 years, and I’m thrilled to partner with Skybound and Vincent Newman to bring these worlds to life. All roads lead to Amber, and I’m happy to be walking them.”
The Chronicles of Amber begins with Nine Princes in Amber, which follows amnesiac narrator Corwin, who wakes on Earth. Gradually, he discovers that Earth is only one of many shadow worlds that exists between the realm of Amber and the Court of Chaos. Eventually, Corwin remembers that he is a prince of Amber, and one potential heir to its throne.
The books were an influence on George R.R. Martin, who wrote in a 1995 memorial post:
Lord of Light was the first Zelazny book I ever read. I was in college at the time, a long time reader who dreamed of writing himself one day. I’d been weaned on Andre Norton, cut my teeth on Heinlein juveniles, survived high school with the help of H.P. Lovecraft, Isaac Asimov, “Doc” Smith, Theodore Sturgeon, and J.R.R. Tolkien. I read Ace doubles and belonged to the Science Fiction Book Ciub, but I had not yet found the magazines. I’d never heard of this Zelazny guy. But when I read those words for the first time, a chill went through me, and I sensed that SF would never be the same. Nor was it. Like only a few before him, Roger left his mark on the genre.
Nine Princes in Amber was first published in 1970; there are nine more books in the main series, which is broken into two segments: The Corwin Cycle and The Merlin Cycle. Clearly, there’s a lot to mine for a potential TV series. According to Variety, the producers are currently looking for a writer, and they do not yet have the involvement of a network or streaming platform.
If you want to revisit Amber while you wait, our Chronicles of Amber reread starts here!