Netflix orders Shadow and Bone, an eight-episode series from Eric Heisserer (Bird Box) based on the Grishaverse fantasy books by Leigh Bardugo. Since Netflix started producing its own content, that side of the streamer has grown exponentially, with multiple new offerings arriving every Friday of the year. Its original content spans genres, from apocalyptic movies starring A-list actors like recent hit Bird Box to more low-key TV fare and family-friendly projects.
As for Bardugo's book series, the first novel, titled Shadow and Bone, was published in 2012, kicking off the initial trilogy that additionally included 2013's Siege and Storm and 2014's Ruin and Rising. The fantasy series is set in a world where certain people, called Grisha, have various abilities, which are sorted into three different categories. The original trilogy follows Alina Starkov, a teenager who uncovers her own, unique Grisha power. Bardugo followed the series with a duology that consisted of Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom, which was set in a different country and follows a group of teenagers who attempt a dangerous heist. Another upcoming Grishaverse duology will kick off later this month with the debut of King of Scars, following a character who appeared in both previous series. Now, fans of the Grishaverse also have a TV adaptation to look forward to.
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Netflix has ordered an eight-episode TV show based on Grishaverse novels Shadow and Bone and Six of Crows, with Bird Box's Eric Heisserer set to write, produce and act as showrunner for the series. Stranger Things producer Shawn Levy is also on board, alongside Bardugo, who will be involved as an executive producer. She confirmed the news on Twitter and revealed the Shadow and Bone TV show will unite the stories of the two novels (Six of Crows is set two years after the end of Ruin and Rising).
Considering the expansive fantasy world of Bardugo's Grishaverse, Netflix potentially has their own Game of Thrones on their hands - which is to say, Shadow and Bone could become an immensely popular high fantasy drama. Bardugo's worldbuilding rivals the likes of Game of Thrones, Lords of the Rings, Harry Potter and other fantasy/adventure classics, it's simply a more recently published series. Nonetheless, the Grishaverse has widespread appeal and a devoted fan base thanks to the five books (and additional novellas) that have already hit shelves. With Netflix adapting the Grishaverse, Shadow and Bone has the potential to become a massive hit, but it remains to be seen if that will actually be the case.
It's also unclear how exactly Heisserer will unite the two storylines. The climactic battle of Ruin and Rising changes the landscape of the world these stories take place in so the show seemingly must follow two separate timelines. While it's not impossible for that to be successful, the show may struggle to line up the stories so they make sense together thematically. That said, Bardugo has confidence in Heisserer's vision for the Shadow and Bone TV series, which should be a good sign for fans of the Grishaverse. While there's still plenty we don't know about Shadow and Bone, fans can rest assured the Grishaverse is coming to live-action thanks to Netflix.
Shadow and Bone doesn't yet have a release date on Netflix.
Source: Netflix, Leigh Bardugo