The Jim Henson Company has optioned Susan Dennard’s bestselling The Witchlands books to develop as a live-action television series. The announcement was made today during a Dragon Con panel led by Dennard and Halle Stanford, President of Television for The Jim Henson Company.
The potential series is set in a world where three empires rule and every member of the population is born with a magical skill set, known as a “witchery”. Now, as the Twenty- Year Truce in a centuries-long war is about to come to an end, the balance of power will fall on the shoulders of two young women Safiya and Iseult, who must accept their fate, and themselves, to survive.
Lisa Henson, CEO and President of The Jim Henson Company and Stanford will serve as executive producers for the project. Dennard will serve as co-executive producer. The Emmy Award-winning Jim Henson’s Creature Shop will create the creature characters for the series.
Published by Tor Books, with two of the books and a spinoff already on the shelves, the third release in the series, Bloodwitch, is set for February 2019.
The book series is set on a distant continent, in which some are born with a “witchery,” a magical skill that sets them apart from others. The series follows best friends Safi (a Truthwitch) and Iseult (a Threadwitch), as well as the cunning ship captain Prince Merik (a Windwitch), and the mysterious and powerful Aeduan (a Bloodwitch) as they must navigate warring empires, political machinations, and mercenaries who seek to use their magic for selfish gain.
“The Witchlands features a world of magic and astonishing characters that our Creature Shop can sink its teeth into and bring to life in an exciting and fresh way,” said Stanford. “These books fulfill our desire to dive deep into a high fantasy world a la Lord of the Rings or Game of Thrones, where the women are the heroes and the world itself is seen through a feminine lens.”
Dennard said, “I’m so thrilled that The Witchlands is in the hands of such a dynamic and creative company as The Jim Henson Company. This is a literal dream come true, and I can’t wait to see what they come up with to bring the world, characters, magic, and creatures to life!”
The Jim Henson Company has received over 50 Emmy Awards and nine Grammy Awards. Recent credits include Julie’s Greenroom (Netflix), Dot. (Universal Kids /Hulu), Splash and Bubbles (PBS), Word Party (Netflix), Doozers (Hulu/ Sprout), and the Emmy- nominated Sid the Science Kid (PBS), Dinosaur Train (PBS), and Pajanimals (Universal Kids). Television productions include Fraggle Rock, The Storyteller and the sci-fi cult series Farscape. Features include Disney’s Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, as well as The Dark Crystal, Labyrinth, MirrorMask, and Jim Henson’s Turkey Hollow. The Company is currently in production on the upcoming Netflix original series The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance. Projects in development include the highly anticipated film Fraggle Rock.