Ursula Le Guin is one of the most prolific and influential science fiction/fantasy authors of all time. One of her most well-known creations is the immersive fantasy world of Earthsea which is, according to a report from Deadline, on its way to the small screen.
A24 and Jennifer Fox (Nightcrawler) will produce the adaptation of the fantasy saga. The story that centers on the titular collection of islands which reside in mystical uncharted waters. If you haven’t read the series, it spans six books and scholars widely regard it as one of the great works of fantasy. The first full book in the series, A Wizard of Earthsea, centers on a young mage; the second, The Tombs of Atuan, centers on a girl who is taken from her homeland to become a high priestess. Later the books began to build on the lore and mythos of the world. Earthsea is also notable as most of the characters are people of color, making it stand out from many of the equivalent stories of its time.
A Wizard of Earthsea, Bantam Books
Fox is clearly a huge fan of the author, telling Deadline, “Ursula Le Guin is a literary legend with a huge fan base and her work has been translated into practically every written language on the globe. She is second only to Tolkien in influence in this genre, and before she died last year, she agreed to put her most beloved work in my hands. This project is, therefore, a sacred trust and priority for me as well as an opportunity to create an iconic piece of American culture.”
This isn’t the first time that someone has tried to adapt these stories from Le Guin with a short-lived Sci Fi Channel Earthsea series in 2004, and a 2006 Studio Ghibli movie inspired by the book of short stories which make up a part of the lore called Tales from Earthsea. It’ll be interesting to see Earthsea brought to life in a post Game Of Thrones world where big-budget fantasy has the potential to become the next big prestige TV hit.
Image header: Studio Ghibli