Afrofuturism is coming to our TV screens in full force with an HBO adaptation of fantasy comic book series Asunda.
The series, based on the comic book universe by Sebastian A. Jones and published by Jones’ Stranger Comics, will be set in Asunda, described by Deadline as “the culturally rich but war-torn world.” The story will revolve around an orphan girl who “is born of two nations and raised in a small desert town.” She goes on a journey to find her ancestors and “bind them against an ancient enemy.” Asunda’s history has been chronicled in the comics Niobe, Dusu, Erathune and Essessa, all named for people or places in Asunda.
The orphan girl in question is none other than Niobe Ayutami, the character co-created by Jones and Amandla Stenberg. She is the star of two graphic novels, Niobe: She Is Life and Niobe: She Is Death. Niobe’s heritage includes that of her father’s — the king of a country similar to England and other European nations — and her mother’s, a kidnapped chief of a nomadic tribe of jungle-dwelling elves who live in an area similar to West Africa.
Jones will co-write and executive produce the series, and Mimi DiTrani will also executive produce. Stenberg is currently not attached to star.
Seeing how Asunda is inspired by J.R.R. Tolkien’s high fantasy universe and Greek mythology, it makes sense that HBO would snap up Asunda as it transitions from Game of Thrones, which is entering its final season.
This announcement is the second bit of Afrofuturistic news in just a few days. Also breaking this week was news of Viola Davis developing an adaptation of Octavia Butler’s Wild Seed from a script by Wanuri Kahiu and Nnedi Okorafor. HBO is already developing Okorafor’s novel, Who Fears Death, with George R.R. Martin.