EXCLUSIVE: Universal Television is heading into the fantasy realm.
The studio has come on board a TV series adaptation of Mercedes Lackey’s Valdemar literary universe.
The Universal Studio Group company is developing The Heralds of Valdemar, based on a series of trilogies of novels.
Kit Williamson, who created Netflix’s LGBTQ comedy series EastSiders, is adapting with author Brittany Cavallaro, who wrote the Charlotte Holmes series of books. The pair bonded over the books in school and will now write and produce the TV adaptation.
The Last Herald-Mage, The Arrows, The Mage Winds and The Mage Storms trilogies create the world of Valdemar, a place millions of readers return to again and again. Valdemar follows three teenagers chosen by fate to protect the realm–Vanyel, a young queer hero on a journey of self-discovery, Talia, a sheltered girl escaping an oppressive religious cult, and Elspeth, a princess determined to be her own hero. While separated by centuries, their journeys are linked, each battling the same evil force with the world hanging in the balance.
Lackey has written over 140 books and is considered one of the most prolific science fiction and fantasy writers of all time. In addition to EastSiders, Williamson wrote the film adaptation of Camp for HBO Max. He is repped by Buchwald and More/Medavoy. Cavallaro and Williamson recently optioned A Study in Charlotte to A+E Studios and wrote the pilot. She is repped by Buchwald.
“We’re excited to have the opportunity to bring the world, characters and stories of Mercedes Lackey’s Valdemar to the television audience,” said Vivian Cannon, EVP, Drama Development, Universal Television. “Her novels push the conventions of the fantasy genre, envisioning a unified world ruled by hope, not power, where normal people find the ability to rise up as heroes.”
“I’m thrilled beyond expression to have Kit and Bri working on this project; they love the material and almost have a deeper understanding of it than I do,” said Lackey. “It’s a dream come true to have the potential to see my world on the screen.”
“Kit and I first bonded over our love for the Valdemar books twenty years ago, when we were kids at boarding school,” said Cavallero. “Valdemar means the world to me; it showed me what a true inclusive society could look like, and Mercedes Lackey’s queer and feminist characters taught me that anyone could be a hero. We are so thrilled to be bringing this project to life with Radar Pictures and Universal Television—this is a magical moment.”
“I can’t overstate the impact these books had on my life as a gay teenager growing up in Mississippi,” added Williamson. “Vanyel’s story was my introduction to Valdemar, and will be our jumping-off point to explore the expansive universe that Lackey created. We couldn’t ask for better partners than Radar Pictures and Universal Television to bring this epic story to a new generation.”
Radar Pictures is represented by Buchwald.
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