In the first acquisition since announcing their first-look deal, Warner Bros and Michael B. Jordan’s Outlier Society have acquired films rights to Marlon James’ new fantasy epic novel Black Leopard, Red Wolf.
Based in African mythology, Black Leopard, Red Wolf follows Tracker, who has a keen sense of smell. He’s hired to find a missing child against a backdrop of competing kingdoms and violent political upheaval. The story touts a wild cast of characters including a witch, a shape-shifting leopard, a murderous hyena, and conjoined twins. It’s the first book in James’ Dark Star Trilogy where African myth, fantasy and history come together.
James will remain an EP on the project. Anonymous Content and Ellen Levine of Trident Media Group brokered the deal. The Riverhead Books novel hit shelves Tuesday.
James is the Booker Prize-winning and New York Times-bestselling author of A Brief History of Seven Killings. His first novel, John Crow’s Devil, was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the Commonwealth Writers Prize and was a New York Times Editor’s Choice.
Jordan founded Outlier Society in 2016 with a focus on bringing eclectic and inclusive, diverse stories and voices to the market. It’s one of the first companies to publicly adopt the inclusion rider. Under the helm of production president Alana Mayo, Outlier Society has co-produced the Emmy-nominated HBO Films adaptation of Fahrenheit 451, which netted Jordan a Producers Guild Award.
Their forthcoming projects include WWII action drama The Liberators, the anime-style 3D series gen:LOCK, the sci-fi hourlong series Raising Dion, and the OWN drama series David Makes Man from Oscar-winning Moonlight co-writer Tarell Alvin McCraney.