EXCLUSIVE: AMC has optioned the rights to Sorcerers, a novella by co-writers Maurice Broaddus and Otis Whitaker and featuring illustrations by internationally renowned artist Jim Mahfood, with plans to adapt it into a series.
The short story is a psychedelic urban fantasy about a 30-year-old man from Harlem who comes into his own as a hip hop-inspired sorcerer. It follows Malik Hutchins, the black sheep to one of the most successful families in Harlem. Malik couch-surfs with relatives, parties with his girlfriend, and ghostwrites rhymes for local rappers for a few bucks to finance his lifestyle—but when cocky Malik sells two warring rappers the same verse, he paints a target on his own back. Then on his deathbed, Malik’s beloved grandfather Pop-Pop reveals that Malik is a sorcerer, in the great tradition of African sorcery born on the plains of the rift valley before the beginning of time. Malik is thrown headlong into a quest that winds through the streets of Harlem, to the rural South, and places much farther beyond, places he’s only visited in dreams… Now it’s Malik’s turn to step up and take his place as wielder and guardian of an ancient magic passed down through generations in order to protect the family, the people of Harlem, and the world from the forces of dark magic connected to the worst aspects of American history and the fearful creatures it has unleashed.
The novella is the debut release from NeoText, a new digital publishing company dedicated to publishing short-form prose ranging from science fiction and noir novellas to investigative journalism and narrative nonfiction. NeoText execs John Schoenfelder, Russell Ackerman and Jay Schuminsky will serve as executive producers on the series, and Nick Mennuti and Eric Raab will be co-executive producers.
“NeoText marks a different way of creating stories, with a lead writer in collaboration with an in-house writers room, translating ideas into action-packed storytelling,” said Broaddus. “I’m thrilled to see Sorcerers transform from the novella to a TV show.” Sorcerers was released digitally by NeoText on August 4. Broaddus’ most recent print publication, the YA novel The Usual Suspects, will be released in paperback August 11.