James Patterson and Condé Nast are teaming to revive vintage crime fighter The Shadow in a series of books that will also aim to be adapted for the screen.
Hachette Book Group imprint Little, Brown will publish the original series, whose first installment is due out in the fall of 2021. Condé Nast has long controlled licensing for the character via its Street & Smith subsidiary.
The Shadow, a signature New York vigilante, originated in the 1930s as a series of pulp novels by Walter B. Gibson. A popular radio drama based on the books featured the voice of Orson Welles. In 1994, Universal released a feature film adaptation starring Alec Baldwin.
“Who can forget The Shadow’s historic tagline, ‘Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men?’”, Patterson said in the official announcement. “Well, The Shadow knows. And soon readers will, too. I’ve long been a fan of The Shadow and am looking forward to bringing his legendary character to life in the modern age.”
“James Patterson is the all-time master of the American thriller genre,” said Markus Grindel, Managing Director, Global Brand Licensing, Condé Nast. “The origins of that genre began with The Shadow stories of New York’s golden age. There’s a natural creative match at work here along with a significant through-line.”
Bill Robinson of James Patterson Entertainment said the goal of the reboot was to introduce a new generation to the character and his world. “As we launch the new series of Shadow books, we will also plot the course of the Shadow’s return to the screen together with Condé Nast Entertainment,” he said.
“Knowing that James Patterson has created some of the most enduring crime fighters of all-time, the future of The Shadow couldn’t be in better hands,” said Neil McGinness, who manages the Street & Smith superhero universe.