Starlight Media, which has backed films including Crazy Rich Asians and Midway, has taken the rights to The Poppy War, Dragon Republic and The Burning God.
The company has teamed with financing and production banner SA Inc to develop and finance the female-led, fantasy epic, which combines the history of twentieth-century China and a world of gods and monsters.
Allen Fischer from management/production company Artists First is packaging the project with Starlight, and is in the process of attaching a showrunner.
Inspired by the mixture of the atmosphere of Song dynasty and the Second Sino-Japanese War in mid-20th-century China, the books build an imaginary world of shamanism and classical Chinese legends with adventure.
The story unfolds with Rin, a war orphan from southern China, acing the national talent exam and getting accepted into an elite military academy, Sinegard Academy. Under the guidance of a seemingly crazy and mysterious master, Rin soon discovers a long-lost shamanic power inside her. As the Third Poppy War approaches, Rin may be the only one who can defend her country and its people, but she fears that winning the war may cost her more than she can afford.
The Poppy War was first published by Harper Voyage in 2018 and was named book of the year by publications including The Washington Post and the Guardian. It was followed by The Dragon Republic, which was published in 2019 and The Burning God, which was published last month.
Starlight Media’s Luo said, “The combination of a strong female teenager protagonist, an inspiring theme of an outcast fighting for recognition, and a compelling historical military fantasy grounded in the history of China make this an epic TV package with inbuilt charm that plays universally. We are excited to be adapting the rich and fantastical world that R.F. Kuang has so vividly created.”
Rebecca F. Kuang is represented by Hannah Bowman at Liza Dawson Associates and Steve Fisher at APA.