Paramount Pictures Picks Up Tomi Adeyemi’s Children of Blood and Bone

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Children of Blood and Bone, Tomi Adeyemi’s bestselling 2018 YA novel, is on the fast track to film adaptation. Deadline reports that Paramount Pictures now has the rights to the series, having beaten “several major players” in a bidding war. Adeyemi will write the screenplay and executive produce the adaptation.

Children of Blood and Bone is the first of a trilogy that tells the story of Zélie Adebola, who must bring magic back to her land. Here’s the publisher’s summary:

Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zélie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls.

But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope.

Now Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good.

The sequel, Children of Virtue and Vengeance, came out in 2019, and the third book is expected in 2023.

An adaptation has been in the works for several years now. In 2019, Fox 2000 was planning to adapt the book as a film, with Rick Famuyiwa on board to direct. Later that year, Fox was acquired by Disney. In late 2020, Disney announced that Children of Blood and Bone was in development with Lucasfilm and 20th Century Studios.

Development processes are always opaque, so there’s no telling what happened between 2020 and the present. Deadline notes, “According to sources multiple studios were in the mix including Universal, Amazon, and Netflix as the property is seen as one of the more substantial IPs since Hunger Games rights hit the market.” The current deal, according to Deadline, includes “a seven-figure screenwriting guarantee as well creative approvals for Adeyemi” and a guaranteed theatrical release.

It’ll be a minute before we get any further news, like casting or a release date, but in the meantime you can listen to an audio excerpt from the book!

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