New Marlon James Book Could Become a Movie

Black Leopard, Red Wolf was picked up by actor Michael B. Jordan

Photo by Nate Ryan

Marlon James’ new and nationally acclaimed fantasy novel, Black Leopard, Red Wolf, could be headed to Hollywood. Black Panther actor Michael B. Jordan’s Outlier Productions and Warner Bros. have picked up the film rights to adapt the book, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

A Macalester College professor who has lived in the Twin Cities for more than a decade, James wrote the first book of a trilogy he has dubbed an “African Game of Thrones” in Minneapolis. The story takes place in an African-inspired fantasy world filled with shape-shifting beings and over-the-top depictions of human instincts and desires reaching their rawest conclusions. In words that would look great on a movie poster, it’s exhilarating and a wild ride!

Just released earlier this past Tuesday, Black Leopard, Red Wolf is James’ follow-up to A Brief History of Seven Killings. An adaptation of that book was in the works for Amazon Studios. When asked about the project in late 2018, James said it was in developmental gridlock. Or maybe he used a harsher word.

In a conversation featured in the upcoming March/April issue of Minnesota Monthly, James goes in depth about his work in “a small room with nothing but books and story ideas on Post-It notes stuck up all over the wall. Pictures of African folklore: people, mountains, buildings, and history.” Look for it in print and online in the coming weeks.

For Twin Cities-based folks, Kerri Miller’s live interview with James will take place at the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul on February 13.