It seems we’re not the only ones quite taken with Marlon James’ absorbing new novel Black Leopard, Red Wolf: Like many an epic tale before it, the book is being adapted into a movie. If you’ve read even the initial opening section of the story, then you already know this is going to be no small feat to pull off.
Setting aside the difficulty of transposing James’ lyrical prose and often complex imagery into cinematic form, it’s just a big book to tackle. Luckily, someone who knows a little something about tackling challenging adaptations is here to make it happen: According to The Hollywood Reporter, Michael B. Jordan is joining forces with Warner Bros. to produce an adaptation of the sprawling mythical fantasy. There’s no word yet on whether Jordan plans to star in the film as well, though it’s not hard to picture him in the lead role. (And if he doesn’t care for that role, there’s literally dozens of others in the “Those Who Appear in This Account” list of dramatis personae at the start of the book.)
Black Leopard, Red Wolf is set in an alternate-reality version of Africa in which a team of mercenaries hired by a slave trader are dispatched to locate a missing boy. It’s the first in a planned trilogy of books by James, though it will be interesting to see if James himself will be involved in adapting the screenplay for the big screen. No other writer has yet been hired to write the script, and no director is yet attached. And definitely no word yet on whether the movie will include the scene in the first few pages where—spoiler alert!—the main character literally fucks a magic old crone into being young again.