The Witchlands series by Susan Dennard will be getting its own TV series thanks to The Jim Henson Company. Dennard and Halle Stanford, President of Television for The Jim Henson Company, revealed plans for the fantasy series to get its own live-action show during a Dragon Con panel.
The bestselling young adult series, published by Tor, already has two novels and one spinoff, with a third book, Bloodwitch, to be released February 2019. The series takes place on a continent where three empires rule under an uneasy Twenty-Year Truce that is nearing its end. Some people have magic skills called “witchery” and while anyone born with such a power is valuable, some “witcheries” are prized more than others. The series follows Safiya (a Truthwitch) and Iseult (A Threadwitch), best friends who want nothing to do with the oncoming war, as well as Prince Merik (A Windwitch), and Aeduan (a Bloodwitch), who each have their own stake in what is to come. When Safiya’s rare and valuable “witchery” is revealed, all four characters find themselves pulled deep into the political intrigue of their country while being hunted and manipulated by those who would kill to have their own Truthwitch.
Deadline reports that both Dennard and Stanford appeared enthusiastic about the upcoming project:
Stanford: “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. 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: "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!"
Along with Stanford, Lisa Henson, CEO and President of The Jim Henson Company, will be the show’s executive producers with Dennard as co-executive producer. The creatures that populate The Witchlands will be brought to life by the Emmy Award-winning Jim Henson’s Creature Shop. Some of the credits of The Jim Henson Company include Julie’s Greenroom, Splash and Bubbles, Fraggle Rock, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, The Dark Crystal, and The Labyrinth. The company is currently working on Netflix’s The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance.
The Witchlands series and The Jim Henson Company sounds like a good match, one that is likely to excite fans of the books. The Company’s mastery of combining whimsy with darker, more serious elements is ideal for the magical universe Dennard created. The decision to make the books into a series, rather than a movie, will provide time for the story to go beyond the exciting fight scenes and into the political and cultural strife that has left The Witchlands so divided. Without those details, the prospective show would likely be doomed to become yet another bland fantasy story audiences would soon forget. So far there are few details other than the announced team up, but the combination of The Witchlands and The Jim Henson Company should leave fans enthusiastic about seeing Safiya and Iseult come to life on screen.