Projects After Losing Children Of Blood And Bone Rights

One of the biggest surprises of Disney’s 2020 Investor Day was definitely the presentation, which shed light on a number of the studio’s upcoming film and television projects.

Among a number of Star Wars projects, as well as new installments for Indiana Jones and Willow, the studio announced plans to adapt Children of Blood and Bone, the best-selling young adult fantasy novel from Tomi Adeyemi. Since December of 2020, updates surrounding Lucasfilm’s plans for the franchise were essentially nonexistent — until earlier this month, when it was announced that the project had now found a home at Paramount. A new breakdown from The Hollywood Reporter sheds light on the franchise’s move away from Lucasfilm, revealing that the project ultimately stalled in the development stage as focus was put on Star Wars installments instead. Sources cited in the report also allege that Lucasfilm has “decidedly” shifted away from new projects and IP, instead focusing on things already under their umbrella.

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According to their reporting, the project originally found its way to Lucasfilm after the rights were picked up by Fox 2000 in 2017, and thus became part of the ever-growing number of projects in the shuffle of Disney’s purchase of Fox. Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy reportedly took an interest in the project around that time, with The Mandalorian and Dope director Rick Famuyiwa attached to it at one point.

In the months following the 2020 Disney Investor Day, Adeyemi reportedly grew frustrated with the lack of forward momentum on the Children of Blood and Bone adaptation, and suggested to Lucasfilm that she should be writing the script, something that Lucasfilm was reportedly unable to accommodate. As a result, the project was put into a multi-month bidding war in the fall of 2021, before Paramount grabbed it in early January. Adeyemi is now lined up to both write and executive produce the project, which is reportedly being fast-tracked at Paramount.

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Children of Blood and Bone follows a young orphan named Zélie, who fights back against an evil king that commits atrocities against her people, the Maji, who practice magic. The first two books in the series, Children of Blood and Bone and Children of Virtue and Vengeance, were published in 2018 and 2019, with a third book reportedly due to debut in 2023.

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Lost Children Of Blood

For most moviegoers, but over the years, the studio has also branched out and produced other projects not related to those two giant IPs. One such project that it had in development was an adaptation of Tomi Adeyemi’s YA fantasy novel, “Children of Blood and Bone,” but according to The Hollywood Reporter.

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What makes this news interesting is that “Children of Blood and Bone” sparked an intense bidding war, with Universal, Amazon, and Netflix all vying for the property before it landed at Paramount. It seems like Lucasfilm was sitting on a goldmine but it didn’t know what to do with it, and was too preoccupied with the 10+ “Star Wars” shows it already has in development.

Adeyemi’s bestselling book, which draws from Nigerian culture, is the first in a planned trilogy that is set to conclude next year. It had originally set up shop as a film adaptation at Fox 2000 before Disney made its landmark acquisition of 21st Century Fox and its divisions. Disney eventually shut down Fox 2000, with last year’s Amy Adams-led Netflix film “The Woman in the Window” being the imprint’s final release.

“Children of Blood and Bone,” and Rick Famuyiwa (who directed two episodes of “The Mandalorian”) was attached to it. For a while, it looked like this was going to be one of the few Fox 2000 projects to survive the transition, and the first non-“Star Wars” or “Indiana Jones” project that Lucasfilm would produce for Disney.

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