×

Michael B. Jordan, Warner Bros. Nab Film Rights to ‘Black Leopard, Red Wolf’

Michael B. Jordan’s Outlier Society and Warner Bros. have nabbed the film rights to “Black Leopard, Red Wolf,” a buzzy new fantasy novel by Marlon James.

“Black Leopard, Red Wolf” draws on African mythology to tell the story of Tracker, whose acute sense of smell leads him to be hired to find a missing child against a backdrop of warring kingdoms and political chaos. The child he seeks may be the heir to an empire, something that complicates matters. James referred to the often bloody epic as an “African ‘Game of Thrones,’” but later said he was joking. Still, it includes plenty of the elements that made that HBO show a water-cooler phenomenon including witches, a shape-shifting leopard, a killer hyena, and conjoined twins.

The book is the initial entry in James’ planned Dark Star Trilogy. James, best known for writing the best-seller “A Brief History of Seven Killings,” will serve as executive producer of the project. It’s the first acquisition since Warners and Jordan’s production banner Outlier Society announced their first look deal.

James, a Booker Prize winner, also wrote “John Crow’s Devil.” He received a master’s degree in creative writing from Wilkes University and is currently a professor of literature at Macalester College in Minnesota. “A Brief History of Seven Killings” is reportedly being adapted by Amazon Studios as a possible TV series.

Riverhead Books published the novel on Feb. 4. Reviews for “Black Leopard, Red Wolf” have been largely positive with Rolling Stone calling the book ” a stunning, word-drunk take on sword-and-sorcery sagas” and the New York Times praising James for crafting “characters who will take their place in the pantheon of memorable and fantastical superheroes.”

Anonymous Content and Ellen Levine of Trident Media Group brokered the deal.

Founded by Jordan, the star of “Black Panther” and “Creed,” Outlier Society’s mandate is to foster an “eclectic and inclusive lineup of diverse stories and voices.” The company was one of the first companies to publicly adopt the inclusion rider, which is intended to create more opportunities for women and people of color both in front of and behind the camera. Upcoming projects include WWII action drama “The Liberators,” the sci-fi hour-long series “Raising Dion,” and the OWN drama series “David Makes Man” from Oscar-winning “Moonlight” co-writer Tarell Alvin McCraney.

More Film

  • Disney Pandora World Of Avatar, Lake

    The Piano Guys Play 'Avatar' Theme in Disney World (Watch)

    The YouTube sensation The Piano Guys have taken a trip to the world of Pandora for a performance of the theme to “Avatar.” Shot in the bioluminescent floating forest in Disney World, cellist Steven Sharp Nelson and pianist Jon Schmidt put their spin on the score to James Cameron’s 2009 blockbuster. The video immerses the [...]

  • Editorial use only. No book cover

    Billy Drago, 'Untouchables' Star, Dies at 73

    Billy Drago, who often played harming but chilling gangster roles and appeared in Brian De Palma’s “The Untouchables” and Clint Eastwood’s “Pale Rider,” died Monday in Los Angeles of complications from a stroke. He was 73. The character actor played Al Capone’s henchman Frank Nitti in De Palma’s 1987 “The Untouchables.” On TV series “Charmed,” [...]

  • Grant Sputore

    'I Am Mother' Director Tackles Margot Robbie-Produced Thriller 'Augmented'

    Warner Bros. has hired “I Am Mother” director Grant Sputore to helm the science-fiction thriller “Augmented” which Margot Robbie is producing, Variety has learned exclusively. Michael Lloyd Green is rewriting an original script by Mark Townend. Denise Di Novi and Tom Ackerley are also producing. Production companies are Robbie’s LuckyChap and Di Novi’s eponymous Di [...]

  • Miley Cyrus

    Miley Cyrus Teases 'Charlie's Angels' Collaboration with Ariana Grande and Lana Del Rey

    Three of the biggest female pop stars have joined forces in a new song for the Elizabeth Banks-directed reboot of “Charlie’s Angels.” In a tweet posted Wednesday, Miley Cyrus hinted at a collaboration between herself, Lana Del Rey, and Ariana Grande in the forthcoming film. Alongside a 14-second teaser, originally posted by Sony Pictures, the [...]

  • AMC TheatresShop signs, Los Angeles, America

    AMC Subscription Program Hits 860k Members

    AMC’s subscription service, launched in 2018 as a challenger to MoviePass, has reached 860,129 members in its first 12 months. Given the unwieldy moniker of AMC Stubs A-List, the service costs between $19.95 to $23.95 per month depending on where users live. The company initially said it had hoped to sign up 500,000 members in [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content