The Jim Henson Company has optioned The Witchlands books, written by best-selling author Susan Dennard, to be developed as a live-action television series. The surprise announcement was made today by Halle Stanford, President of Television for The Jim Henson Company at a Dragon Con panel led by Dennard and Stanford entitled “Two Misfits Who Dream: Women Who Create Fantasy Worlds.”
The Witchlands books are set in a world where three empires rule and every member of the population is born with a magical skill set, known as a “witchery.” Now, as the Twenty-Year Truce in a centuries-long war is about to come to an end, the balance of power will fall on the shoulders of two young women Safiya and Iseult, who must accept their fate, and themselves, to survive. Published by Tor Books, with two of the books and a spinoff already on the shelves, the third release in the series, Bloodwitch, is set for February 2019.
“‘The Witchlands’ features a world of magic and astonishing characters that our Creature Shop can sink its teeth into and bring to life in an exciting and fresh way,” said Stanford. “These books fulfill our desire to dive deep into a high fantasy world a la ‘Lord of the Rings’ or ‘Game of Thrones,’ where the women are the heroes and the world itself is seen through a feminine lens.”
Dennard said, “I’m so thrilled that ‘The Witchlands’ is in the hands of such a dynamic and creative company as The Jim Henson Company. This is a literal dream come true, and I can’t wait to see what they come up with to bring the world, characters, magic, and creatures to life!”
Lisa Henson, CEO and President of The Jim Henson Company and Stanford, will serve as executive producers for the project. Susan Dennard will serve as co-executive producer. The Emmy Award-winning Jim Henson’s Creature Shop will create the creature characters for the series.
Susan Dennard has become widely known for her young adult epic fantasy saga set in the imaginative world of her New York Times bestselling series published by Tor Teen, The Witchlands, told through Truthwitch, Windwitch, the special illustrated novella Sightwitch, and the forthcoming Bloodwitch (February 2019). The Witchlands books are set on a distant continent, in which some are born with a “witchery,” a magical skill that sets them apart from others. The series follows best friends Safi (a Truthwitch) and Iseult (a Threadwitch), as well as the cunning ship captain Prince Merik (a Windwitch), and the mysterious and powerful Aeduan (a Bloodwitch) as they must navigate warring empires, political machinations, and mercenaries who seek to use their magic for selfish gain.