EXCLUSIVE: The Punisher and Gossip Girl writer Felicia D. Henderson is set to adapt Tracy Deonn’s YA fantasy novel Legendborn after Black Bear Television acquired the rights.
Henderson, who was a co-exec producer on both series and also worked on series including Fringe and Everybody Hates Chris and co-created BET series The Quad, will write and exec produce a series based on the book. She is currently showrunner of Netflix’s Emma Roberts-produced YA vampire series First Kill.
The book, which was published by Simon & Schuster in 2020, offers a modern-day twist on the Legend of King Arthur with a dose of Black Girl Magic.
After her mother dies in an accident, Bree Matthews leaves home to attend her mother’s alma mater, the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Upon arrival, Bree unexpectedly uncovers a centuries-old supernatural war and the world of the ‘Legendborn’, a secret society made up of the magic-wielding, demon-fighting direct descendants of King Arthur and his knights. As she dives deeper into this dangerous world, Bree becomes increasingly suspicious about what really happened the night her mother died. Perhaps it was not an accident after all. In her quest to unravel this mystery, Bree will discover her own unique magical abilities, and will have to answer to her fate in the impending magical war.
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It is the first installment in a trilogy of books and spent nine weeks on the New York Times Bestseller list. The followup Bloodmarked will be released in November.
It comes from Teddy Schwarzman’s Black Bear Television, which will shop the series to networks and streamers in the coming weeks. Schwarzman, Christopher Casanova and Sleena Wilson will oversee for Black Bear with Henderson and Deonn exec producing alongside Darryl Taja, Ben Stillman, and Pouya Shahbazian.
Black Bear Television is working on series including Naoise Dolan’s Exciting Times with Phoebe Dynevor starring, adaptations of Brandon Cronenberg’s feature Possessor and Kate Quinn’s novel The Rose Code and Scott Cooper’s Angels & Demons based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning article.
The deal was brokered by New Leaf Literary & Media and attorney Melissa Rogal on behalf of Tracy Deonn, and Michael Heimler and Adam Raichilson on behalf of Black Bear. Henderson is represented by manager, Darryl Taja at Epidemic, and attorney, Mark Stankevich.
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