David Heyman, a producer on the Harry Potter series, has seen the kinds of movies being developed to appeal to both Chinese and Western audiences, and he has come away unimpressed. He says they typically feel “forced,” as if the filmmakers and the studios just “want Chinese money.” To try and change that, the Associated Press is reporting that Heyman has teamed up with Chinese film company Alibaba Pictures to develop a movie based on Warriors, a dramatically sprawling series of cat-based fantasy novels written by Kate Cary, Cherith Baldry, and Tui Sutherland (all under the pseudonym Erin Hunter).
It may seem like an odd concept, but the series—which consists of six sub-series—is very popular in certain markets, including China, so an adaptation of some sort seems like an obvious decision. That being said, the Warriors universe also seems extremely complicated, with warring clans of rival cats vying for control of a forest. Unlike something akin to the Redwall series, though, these aren’t cats in medieval armor having fantasy adventures, these are otherwise normal cats dipping their little, bean-like toes into the waters of revenge, romance, and political intrigue far from the unaware eyes of humans. That cats have religion, laws, and a complicated clan hierarchy where some cats are designated as deputies, doctors, or warriors, and all the cats have two-part names that designate their status like “Sandyclaw,” “Lilypad,” or “Bramblepelt.”
The Warriors film will most likely be live-action with computer-generated cat warriors, and there’s no writer on board yet. That means the movie is pretty far off, so we recommend trying to parse the extensive Wikipedia page in the meantime.