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Ursula Le Guin’s Earthsea Cycle being adapted for TV

The quest to find the next big fantasy series to fill the vacuum of Game of Thrones continues. A24 and producer Jennifer Fox (Nightcrawler) will adapt the Earthsea Cycle, the fantasy book series from Ursula K. Le Guin, for television, Deadline reports. Previously, the adaptation had been envisioned as a series of films. Le Guin had given Fox her blessing to adapt the novels for the screen in 2018, right before her death.

The Earthsea Cycle spanned from the publication of the first book, A Wizard of Earthsea, in 1968 to the last short story, “Firelight,” published in 2018. The first book follows a young mage named Ged who comes of age in a land of hundreds of archipelagos. The series is notable for featuring characters of color and for subverting traditional fantasy tropes.

This will not be the first time that the Earthsea Cycle gets an adaptation — though it will perhaps be the first with Le Guin’s approval. A 2005 Sci-Fi Channel miniseries infamously whitewashed the lead character, much to the author’s dismay. The Studio Ghibli adaptation, a full-length animated movie, was met with mixed reviews, both from critics and the author herself. While Le Guin praised the film’s imagery, she disliked the use of violence and morality in the plot.

“Ursula long hoped to see an adaptation of Earthsea that represented a collaboration between her ideas and words, and the visual storytelling of others,” said Le Guin’s son Theo Downes-Le Guin to Deadline. “I feel very fortunate that, with Jennifer Fox and A24, we have a bedrock of producing and development experience that can bring the sweeping narrative and moral truths of my mother’s work to screen.”

A24 will be shop the project to networks soon, according to Deadline.


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