When it comes to book-to-screen adaptations, the production process is rarely cut and dry behind the scenes. For Netflix’s upcoming fantasy series Shadow and Bone, bestselling author Leigh Bardugo, who thought up the expansive Grishaverse, stayed alongside the development every step of the way. There were multiple opportunities for the hero’s journey of Sun Summoner Alina Starkov over the years. How did the adaptation find its home on Netflix?
The Netflix series is a rare, close adaptation to its source material that even elevates its material through bringing in characters from her subsequent duology Six of Crows. Over the past decade, there has been some uneven luck with adaptations of Young Adult series in Hollywood. Here’s what Leigh Bardugo told CinemaBlend about her own experience over the years to see her characters come to life:
How many times have you watched the movie or TV version of a beloved book and hardly recognized it? Leigh Bardugo went through years of trying to get her Shadow and Bone novels a chance at an adaptation, going back nearly a decade. Once an executive part of the project left the streaming service the first time around, the fantasy story was left collecting dust for a while until a number of prospects came back around to sell the author on taking on the franchise. Bardugo continued to tell the story with these words:
Leigh Bardugo serves as executive producer on Shadow and Bone and gave the showrunner keys to Arrival and Lights Out writer Eric Heisserer. He was a fan of her books, particularly with her 2015 followup to the Shadow and Bone trilogy, Six Of Crows. Once he became hooked on the unique fantasy world, he tweeted out his love for the series on Twitter to Leigh Bardugo and it stuck.
About a year after he confessed his love for the Grishaverse, Netflix got in touch with Eric Heisserer about pitching a Shadow and Bone series. When he and Leigh Bardugo met, they seemed to instantly connect on what a Shadow and Bone series could be and in 2019, pre-production began on Netflix’s upcoming series.
Fans of the books can certainly rest easy knowing Leigh Bardugo really took the time to find a team for her series who cared about the source material, instead of going for the first executive who looked its way.
Shadow and Bone will introduce audiences to Alina’s epic journey when the first season drops on Netflix this Friday, April 23. Check out the full lineup of new movies and TV shows coming to the streaming service this month.
YA genre tribute. Horror May Queen. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.
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