×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

DMG Nabs Rights to Ken Liu’s Fantasy Epic ‘Grace of Kings,’ Plans Film Franchise (EXCLUSIVE)

DMG Entertainment has nabbed worldwide film and licensing rights to “The Grace of Kings,” with an eye toward turning the fantasy series into a franchise, Variety has learned exclusively.

The company is fast-tracking production and has tapped Michael Ross (“Fallen”) to write the screenplay. The deal is not only for “The Grace of Kings” but for its two upcoming sequels. The book was the debut of Ken Liu and focused on two men, one a bandit and the other the son of deposed duke, who rise up against a cruel emperor. Later, their alliance cracks and they find themselves fighting over how best to run society. It is the first volume in what Liu has called “The Dandelion Dynasty” series. Liu has described the genre as “silk punk,” by which he means it’s a blend of science-fiction and fantasy that integrates elements of classical East Asian antiquity. That should help the film play well in China and the United States, or so the thinking goes.

DMG CEO, Dan Mintz will produce the film and DMG EVP of Creative Chris Cowles will serve as executive producer.

“We are excited to bring Ken’s groundbreaking trilogy of novels to audiences around the world. Ken tells this spectacular story told in an ambitious and surprising way that flips the genre of epic fantasy on its head,” Mintz said.

Liu’s work has won the the Nebula, Hugo, and World Fantasy awards in the United States, as well as the Chinese Galaxy Award, the French Grand Prix de l’Imaginaire, the Japanese Seiun, and the Spanish Premio Ignotus.

He’s also earned critical acclaim. In a rave review, NPR’s Amal El-Mohtar wrote that “Liu’s world is beautiful, nuanced, fierce, original and diverse.”

In a statement, Liu said that “The Grace of Kings” drew on Western epics like the Iliad, the Aeneid, Beowulf, and Paradise Lost.

“I’m delighted that the film rights for ‘Grace of Kings’ are in the hands of DMG, a studio with a global vision and a worldwide reach,” He said.

DMG Entertainment is a global media company, that’s had particular success at breaking into the Chinese market — no easy feat given the hurdles that foreign productions have to navigate in order to get seen in the Asian country. The company’s Chinese component, DMG Yinji, is listed on the Shenzhen stock market. The studio is presently in production on John Curran’s “Chappaquiddick” and recently converted James Cameron’s “Terminator 2” into 3D. Other upcoming releases include “Bastards” with Owen Wilson and Ed Helms, and “Collide,” an action-adventure with Felicity Jones and Nicholas Hoult.

Simon & Schuster and Saga Press published The Grace of Kings in 2015. Liu is repped by Angela Cheng Caplan of Cheng Caplan Company and Russell Galen of Scovil Galen Ghosh Literary Agency, and Michael Ross is repped by CAA, DMG, and attorney James Feldman.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Ken Burns

    Ken Burns, Library of Congress to Present Documentary Award to 'Flannery'

    Documentarian Ken Burns is partnering with the Library of Congress and two philanthropic organizations to present a new award to “Flannery,” a documentary about Flannery O’Connor. Filmmaker Elizabeth Coffman and Jesuit priest Mark Bosco will be presented the first Library of Congress Lavine/Ken Burns Prize for Film on Oct. 17 at the library. The award includes [...]

  • Palazzo BarberiniPalazzo Barberini, Rome, Italy -

    International Execs Descend on Rome as MIA Market Serves Fresh Films, TV Dramas, Docs

    Rome’s MIA market for TV series, feature films and documentaries kicks off today with hundreds of international buyers descending upon the Eternal City for four-days (Oct. 16-20) of presentations of fresh top-notch mostly European product and dealmaking done in a more relaxed setting than Mipcom. The new concept mart now at its 5th edition, which [...]

  • Former Orange Studio Exec Andrei Kamarowsky

    Former Orange Studio Exec Andrei Kamarowsky Becomes Gulf Film COO (EXCLUSIVE)

    Andrei Kamarowsky, who recently stepped down from Orange Studio where he spearheaded international, has joined Dubai-based distribution group Gulf Film as Chief Operating Officer. Founded three decades ago, Gulf Film is involved in both distribution and exhibition in the Middle East, and has close relationships with Studiocanal, Pathé, having output deals with STX Entertainment, MGM, [...]

  • Harry Connick Jr. American Idol

    Harry Connick Jr. to Receive Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

    Grammy and Emmy Award winner Harry Connick Jr will be honored with at star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame next week. The ceremony will take place on the morning of Oct. 24. “When choosing a star location, we try to incorporate ties to the honoree and this one turned out to be a coincidence [...]

  • Zombieland: Double Tap

    Film Review: 'Zombieland: Double Tap'

    The zombies have evolved in “Zombieland: Double Tap”; the comedy not so much. But that’s OK, because Ruben Fleischer’s 2009 breakout hit — which gobbled up $75.6 million in a genre fast approaching its pop-culture saturation point — was already a few steps ahead of the curve: Its central quartet actually knew they were living [...]

  • Chinese director Jia Zhangke at the

    Iconic Chinese Auteur Jia Zhangke Touts Trio of Projects at Pingyao

    No one attending the Pingyao International Film Festival can escape learning about Jia Zhangke’s upcoming projects, with the same three trailers for them playing before each and every screening. The art house icon-turned-businessman’s presence looms large over the event he founded in his home province.  First off, there is a new collaboration between Jia and [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content