Critical Content Developing Ursula K. Le Guin’s ‘Left Hand of Darkness’ as Limited Series (EXCLUSIVE)

The Left Hand of Darkness
Courtesy of Ace Books

Tom Forman’s Critical Content banner is developing Ursula K. Le Guin’s renowned science fiction novel “The Left Hand of Darkness” as a limited series.

Critical Content has optioned the rights to the 1969 book directly from Le Guin in a deal negotiated by Holly Frederick from Curtis Brown Ltd. The 87-year-old author will serve as a consulting producer on the project.

“Darkness” revolves around a human male’s mission to an alien planet known as Winter where the inhabitants have become androgynous with unusual mating rituals and gender characteristics that are fluid. The novel established Le Guin as a writer and as a feminist thinker. It won the Hugo and Nebula prizes for fantasy literature.

Forman, Andrew Marcus and Ray Ricord will exec produce the series. There’s no word yet on a writer for the adaptation.

Critical Content launched in January 2016 after the former Relativity Television was acquired amid Relativity’s bankruptcy proceedings by a group of private equity firms led by Anchorage Capital. The company, headed by Forman as CEO and Marcus as president, is known for unscripted cable series but has branched out into scripted with Freeform’s “Young and Hungry” and CBS’ “Limitless.”

Undoubtedly, Critical is hoping the strong response to Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale,” based on the Margaret Atwood novel, will whet the appetite among TV buyers for Le Guin’s allegory about sexual politics and power.

Le Guin novels “Earthsea” and “The Lathe of Heaven” have been previously adapted as film and TV projects.

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  1. John Cowan says:

    Well, let’s hope that “consulting producer” means she gets to influence the final result. The first “Lathe of Heaven” (PBS, 1980) was excellent, despite its low-budget fx; the later “Lathe” and both “Earthsea” adaptations were God-awful dreck, and Le Guin couldn’t do a thing about it.

  2. rsgour says:

    Regarding ‘Le Guin novels “Earthsea,” “The Starlost” and “The Lathe of Heaven” have been previously adapted as film and TV projects.’ – “The Starlost” was not based on a novel. It was a low-budget 70’s Canadian sci-fi tv show created by Harlan Ellison; Le Guin wrote the story for the episode “The Goddess Calabra.”

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