Raymond E. Feist's Riftwar Saga - one of the most critically acclaimed and best-selling fantasy series in history - has been optioned for adaptation into a TV series by BCDF Pictures. Atomic Blonde screenwriter Kurt Johnstad has been attached to the project, which will also see mobile content developed by Fiction Riot starting early in 2019.
Based on the setting of an original role-playing game that Feist and his friends ran together, The Riftwar Cycle is one of the longest-running fantasy series of all time, having spanned 30 full novels and three short stories over three decades. The Riftwar Cycle is made up of several sagas, with the first three books (Magician, Silverthorn and A Darkness At Sethanon) being known collectively as The Riftwar Saga. Other sagas in The Riftwar Cycle include The Serpentwar Saga, The Darkwar Saga, The Demonwar Saga and The Chaoswar Saga. Feist's novels have been translated into 25 different languages, and sold over 20 million individual copies worldwide since 1982.
Deadline reported on the deal, which will see Feist serving as a producer on the new show. Feist is notoriously protective of his work and has only allowed it to be adapted on three earlier occasions - twice to make computer role-playing games utilizing his setting, and once into a graphic novel format by Marvel Comics.
Feist: I’ve been talking to film and TV people about adapting my work since the publication of Magician in 1982. I have said no repeatedly to deals simply because the ‘fit,’ was wrong. I am delighted to have finally met people with the understanding of the work and vision to match my own in bringing The Riftwar Saga to series television. I look forward to working with the talented crew at BCDF as much as they need and am excited at finally seeing Magician on the screen.
Spread across ten years and two planets, Magician details how a war came to be fought across interstellar distances through magic portals called "rifts" that allow for travel between worlds. As The Kingdom of The Isles is invaded by the Empire of Tsuranuanni and the magicians they call Great Ones, an apprentice wizard named Pug and a young soldier named Tomas will find their destinies tied to the conflict that threatens to destroy all they know and more. Pug will learn to master the strange powers that his mentor cannot explain, as Tomas becomes the scion of a long-dead civilization of god-like warriors. Mad monarchs, political conflicts, tales of lost heirs and Machiavellian scheming also figure into the plot, forging one of the most complex narratives and some of the most interesting characters this side of Game of Thrones.
While it's too early to predict that The Riftwar Saga might replace HBO's series as television's most popular fantasy offering, there's little reason to bet against Feist and his legacy. There's a reason The Riftwar Cycle novels routinely made the New York Times Best-Sellers list, and why Feist has the large and local fan base that he does. Given that, it seems all but certain that a new wave of fantasy fans are about to discover the magic of Feist's work.