One of the most anticipated films is the adaptation of author Tomi Adeyemi’s popular YA novel Children Of Blood and Bone. The novel, the first in a planned trilogy, chronicles Zélie Adebol’s journey to restore magic to the kingdom of Orïsha. After gestating at Lucasfilm for several years, the film is now at Paramount where it has been fast-tracked for development.
It’s a no-brainer and the best decision to have a Black woman behind the lens, so we’ve decided to weigh in.
Here is our list of five Black women directors who could direct an adaptation of Children Of Blood and Bone:
Nikyatu Jusu took home the Sundance Film Festival’s Grand Jury Prize for her acclaimed feature directorial, Nanny. In addition, the filmmaker has an untitled horror film she is set to release under Universal and Monkeypaw. With acclaimed films that toy the line between fantasy and horror and the credentials to match, she’s perhaps the most fitting choice to direct Children Of Blood and Bone. With Colin Trevorrow making the big leap from an acclaimed indie like Safety Not Guaranteed to franchise-fare like Jurassic World, Jusu could make the leap from Nanny to Children Of Blood And Bone. There are no excuses at this point.
Victoria Mahoney was selected as a second unit director on Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, marking her as the first woman to direct on a Star Wars film in the franchise’s 40-year history. In 2021, Netflix announced that Mahoney would take over directing duties from Gina Prince-Bythewood as director for The Old Guard sequel. Mahoney was also once attached to a TV adaptation of Octavia Butler’s Dawn, with Ava DuVernay’s Array Filmworks and Charles D. King’s MACRO serving as producers. With all these credentials under her belt, Mahoney has proved she’s more than qualified to bring the kingdom of Orisha to life.
A rising filmmaker with a penchant for science fiction, Wanuri Kahiu made her rounds on the festival circuit with the short film, Pumzi. Among her other credits, she made history with her film Rafiki and directed Netflix’s upcoming film Look Both Ways starring Lili Reinhart.
Kahiu was also attached to an adaptation of Octavia Butler’s novel Wild Seed for Amazon and Viola Davis and Julius Tennon’s JuVee Productions, developing the script alongside Nigerian author Nnedi Okorafor. Known for including elements of Africanfuturism in her cinematic pieces, Kahiu would be an excellent match for the magical world that Tomi Adeyemi has created.
Millicent Shelton became the first African-American woman to receive a Primetime Emmy Award nod for Outstanding Directing For A Comedy Series for her work in the comedy series 30 Rock. With credits on shows such as P-Valley, Run the World, The Walking Dead, Castle, Californication, My Name Is Earl, 90210, Men of a Certain Age, Pan Am and Leverage, it would be cool to see Shelton to dive into the realm of silver-screen fantasy.
Netflix will drop the Shelton-directed feature End of the Road later this year.
Perhaps the biggest name on the list, Gina Prince Blythewood is known for acclaimed romance films such as Love & Basketball and Beyond The Lights. However, Blythewood has also directed action fare such as The Old Guard as well as the upcoming historical epic and The Woman King, which stars Viola Davis. We’d be remiss to say that we weren’t curious about what Blythewood’s vision of Zellie would entail.