Michael B. Jordan has nabbed the rights for the just-released fantasy novel Black Leopard, Red Wolf, which celebrated author Marlon James has referred to as an "African Game of Thrones." Jordan secured the release via his recently launched Outlier Society production company.
Jordan signed a first-look development deal with Warner Bros. last month. Black Leopard, Red Wolf is the first project Outlier has launched since that deal. The story follows a group of mercenaries as they track a kidnaped boy across a fantastical version of the African continent. The book is the first in a planned Dark Star Trilogy, which will follow the characters as they encounter giants, witches, beasts and, of course, other people whose motives might run counter to their own.
Wired points out that it pulls from equally varied sources like "J. R. R. Tolkien, Toni Morrison, Gabriel García Márquez, and George R. R. Martin." Marlon James is the author behind the Man Booker prize-winning A Brief History of Seven Killings. That novel jumped around between various viewpoints to paint a picture of Jamaica around the One Love Peace Concert.
Re: that "African Game of Thrones” comparison, James explained how he's always thought the lines between genre fiction and literary work were arbitrary. "I am getting the same feeling from Love and Rockets that I’m getting from One Hundred Years of Solitude, but I’m supposed to look at one as, that’s comics and that’s a serious novel? From a very early age, I thought, That’s bullshit," he said in an interview with Vulture. "The whole idea of a great American novel is bullshit. But if you twist my arm, I’m probably gonna say American Tabloid and Love and Rockets."
No screenwriter has been pegged and there's no telling who will play the lead. James will be an executive producer on the movie adaptation.