EXCLUSIVE: Disney is giving a full embrace to Children of Blood and Bone, the action fantasy film based on the bestselling novel by Nigerian-American author Tomi Adeyemi that originated as a Fox 2000 property.
This Is Us writer Kay Oyegun is making a deal to write a new script adaptation of the epic fantasy with Rick Famuyiwa, who remains attached to direct. Sources said that the project caught the fancy of Lucasfilm and that its chief Kathy Kennedy is in the process of making this the first feature property to be produced by Lucasfilm since the Disney acquisition that isn’t Star Wars or Indiana Jones.
The project is building a new head of steam under the Fox/Disney label steered by Emma Watts, whom Deadline revealed recently was staying on to build the label into something. Sources said some of the pieces are still moving on this one, but the potential involvement of Lucasfilm assures this is an important project at the studio. Temple Hill’s Marty Bowen, Isaac Klausner, and John Fischer were the original producers along with Sunswept Entertainment’s Karen Rosenfelt and Famuyiwa and his VERSE banner. They will continue to be involved but it sounds like Lucasfilm will have a strong hand as it moves forward.
The novel was published by Henry Holt Books for Young Readers, and a follow-up, Children of Virtue and Vengeance, comes out later this year.
Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zélie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls. Everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope. Now Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good. Danger lurks in Orïsha, where snow leoponaires prowl and vengeful spirits wait in the waters. Yet the greatest danger may be Zélie herself as she struggles to control her powers—and her growing feelings for an enemy. David Magee was first writer on the film.
Oyegun continues on the hit NBC series This is Us, but she her feature spec Assisted Living, was the subject of a bidding battler earlier this year that was won by Paramount Pictures. Sources said the high concept was being called Sister Act meets Mrs. Doubtfire, where a thief on the run from her old crew holes up in a retirement home.
Oyegun is repped by Trevor Engelson at Underground and attorney Allison Binder.