The rise of Afrofuturism and speculative fiction received a huge boost after Deadline broke the news that N.K. Jemisin has signed a seven-figure deal for her trilogy, The Broken Earth. It was a bit of a bidding battle to win the sci-fi saga, but with Sony, in partnership with Elizabeth Gabler’s 3000 Pictures, The Broken Earth will be in development to enter into theaters and streaming services with the author adapting the books for the big screen herself.
For those unfamiliar, The Fifth Season, The Obelisk Gate and The Stone Sky, all won the Hugo Award for Best Novel, making Jemisin the first person to ever win the distinction three years in a row and the first person to win for all three books in a trilogy. In the first book, The Fifth Season, Jemisin sets readers on an adventure in a “harsh futuristic Earth” on a continent called the Stillness, which endures seasonal apocalyptic events that shake the world and its inhabitants during these “seasons.”
Key to rebuilding these communities after such destruction are the “orogenes,” individuals gifted with incredible magical power drawn from reservoirs within the Earth itself. Trained from childhood to be up for the task by a societal order called the Guardians, the orogenes hold the world together and stave off disaster, but only as a result of being treated brutally by the Guardians.
The series has an extremely devoted fan base and has sold millions of copies around the world.
This sets up other books by speculative fiction authors and creators to have their works adapted to television and the big screen. In the coming years, there are a host of projects being developed from work by the late Octavia Butler by Viola Davis (Amazon Prime’s Wild Seed), Ava DuVernay (Amazon Prime’s Dawn), and Branden Jacobs-Jenkins (FX’s Kindred).
Also, Andre Norton Nebula Award-winning author Tomi Adeyemi will bring her New York Times bestselling trilogy, Children of Blood and Bone, to the big screen via Disney and Lucasfilm, making Afrofuturism and speculative fiction buzzwords that Hollywood is looking to capitalize on.