×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

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

  • Roman Polanski

    Roman Polanski Sues Film Academy to Be Reinstated

    Film director Roman Polanski is suing the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, demanding reinstatement to the prestigious organization after he was expelled last May. The suit, filed in the state of California, says AMPAS did not follow proper protocol in dismissing him nearly a year ago. The Academy did so “in accordance with [...]

  • Lorraine Warren dead

    Lorraine Warren, Paranormal Investigator Who Inspired 'The Conjuring,' Dies at 92

    Lorraine Warren, paranormal investigator and demonologist whose life inspired franchises like “The Conjuring” and “The Amityville Horror,” has died. She was 92. Warren’s son-in-law Tony Spera confirmed the news. Spera said on Facebook, “She died peacefully in her sleep at home.” He continued, “She was a remarkable, loving, compassionate and giving soul. To quote Will [...]

  • THE EXORCIST

    'Exorcist' Star Max Von Sydow Doesn't Let Age Define His Roles

    Max von Sydow turned 90 this month, which is a milestone for most people, but age has always seemed incidental to the actor. When he played the elderly, frail Father Merrin in “The Exorcist,” von Sydow was 44 — meaning he was the same age Bradley Cooper is today. In the 1950s, von Sydow had [...]

  • 'Changing the Game' Documentary

    Watch the First Trailer for Trans Documentary 'Changing the Game' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Another hurdle for trans rights could quite literally be the track and field hurdle. Transgender student athletes are put in the spotlight in the forthcoming documentary “Changing the Game,” set to premiere at 2019 Tribeca Film Festival. Variety has the world premiere of the doc’s first teaser trailer, which gives an in-depth look into the [...]

  • 'Curse of La Llorona' Box Office

    Box Office: 'Curse of La Llorona' Conjures $2.8 Million on Thursday Night

    “The Curse of La Llorona,” the latest entry in Warner Bros. and New Line’s “Conjuring” universe, conjured $2.75 million from Thursday preview showings, while “Breakthrough,” a faith-based offering from Fox-Disney, brought in $1.5 million from its second day of screenings. “La Llorona’s” haul tops recent horror counterparts “Pet Sematary” and “Escape Room,” which each took [...]

  • Chinese Films Make the Cannes Lineup,

    Cannes: Chinese Films Make the Lineup, but Will They Make It to France?

    Cannes has chosen two mainland Chinese titles for its official selection: Diao Yinan’s “Wild Goose Lake,” in competition, and Zu Feng’s “Summer of Changsha,” for Un Certain Regard. Both films appear to have received the necessary official approvals from Chinese authorities to premiere overseas. But their journey to the Cote d’Azur is by no means [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content