Paramount Pictures has won the acquisition rights to Tomi Adeyemi's Children of Blood and Bone trilogy, beating out several other studios in the process.
According to Deadline, the bidding for the rights to Adeyemi's young adult fantasy book series was intense between other prominent studios such as Netflix, Universal and Amazon, but Paramount will be the studio to serve as a home for the book's adaptation. Paramount was able to win thanks to impressive incentives such as a seven-figure screenwriting payout for Adeyemi along with Adeyemi receiving creative approval. She was also promised that the film would have a guaranteed release in theaters.
"Paramount's passion and enthusiasm to bring this story to life has been incredible," she said. "We are all so excited for this new chapter and are already hard at work."
It was originally reported in 2019 that Children of Blood and Bone would be at Lucasfilm, serving as the first non-Star Wars or Indiana Jones project at the company since being brought under the Disney banner. At the time, Kay Oyegun was working to secure a deal to write the screenplay, with Lucasfilm’s Kathleen Kennedy hoping to add the film to the Lucasfilm roster of projects. Rick Famuyiwa was also reported to be on as director; it’s not clear if Famuyiwa is still attached to the film via the new Paramount deal. It’s worth noting that Famuyiwa has become part of the Lucasfilm family of talent after directing episodes of Disney+ series The Mandalorian and is expected to return for its second season.
Adeyemi will adapt her book into a screenplay and executive produce. The film project is also said to be fast-tracked with producers–Temple Hill Entertainment’s Wyck Godfrey and Marty Bowen and Sunswept Entertainment’s Karen Rosenfelt–already on board.
“Tomi Adeyemi’s Children of Blood and Bone has not only become a phenomenon in the YA world, it has transformed every expectation of what world-building fantasy can be,” said Daria Cerek, co-president of Paramount Pictures Motion Group. “It’s with enormous pride that our studio–along with Tomi and our partners Wyck, Marty and Karen–set out to bring this franchise to life on the big screen. With its thought-provoking and timely themes, we know that this story will resonate with a global audience.”
Paramount might see this as its own Game of Thrones or Harry Potter, seeing how Adeyemi is still working on the trilogy.
The last book in the series will be released in 2023, meaning Paramount Pictures will be able to utilize the IP from Adeyemi for years in terms of film adaptations.
Deadline specifically cites The Hunger Games‘ popularity as one of the reasons Adeyemi’s series was so heavily sought after.