EXCLUSIVE: Makeready will turn the fantasy tale The Gilded Ones into a film, and the producer/financier has set its author, Namina Forna, to write the script in the first of what will be a trilogy. The novel debuted this week in the U.S. through the Penguin Random House imprint Delacorte Press, this after bowing in the UK last week. The trilogy is called the Deathless book series and it shot to the top of Amazon’s fantasy lists. Makeready’s Brad Weston and Negin Salmasi are producing along with Lovecraft Country‘s Misha Green.
The Gilded Ones is an bold and immersive West African-inspired and empowering feminist fantasy story that follows sixteen-year-old Deka living in Otera, a deeply patriarchal ancient kingdom. There, a woman’s worth is tied to her purity, and she must bleed to prove it. But when Deka bleeds gold – the color of impurity, or that of a demon – she faces a consequence worse than death. She is saved by a mysterious woman who tells Deka of her true nature: she is an Alaki, a near-immortal with exceptional gifts. The stranger offers her a choice: fight for the Emperor, with others just like her, or be destroyed.
Forna was born in Sierra Leone West Africa and raised in Los Angeles, She has been a finalist of the NBC/Universal Writers on the Verge program, top 50 in the prestigious Nicholl Fellowship, and top 10 in her category at the Austin Fellowship Screenwriting Competition.
Green is the showrunner and executive producer of Lovecraft Country, alongside Jordan Peele and J.J. Abrams and based on the novel by Matt Ruff. She separately wrote and is producing The Mother, which sold in a competitive situation to Netflix, with Jennifer Lopez starring and Niki Caro directing. She is also adapting and directing Tomb Raider for MGM, and producing Warner Brothers’ Cleopatra Jones. Green’s breakout was as co-creator, EP and writer of the WGN series Underground.
Weston’s Makeready is percolating a film adaptation of the Jo Nesbø short story, The Jealousy Man, at Amazon with Will Oldroyd to direct and Robert Bentivegna writing, Mothertrucker by Joey Soloway, who will also direct with Julianne Moore and Beanie Feldstein starring, and Catching Out by Nic Sheff for HBO Max.
Forna is represented CAA and Alice Sutherland-Hawes of ASH Literary. Green is also represented by CAA and Del, Shaw, Moonves.