Ursula K. Le Guin may soon be coming to television.
The series—set in a massive fictional archipelago made up of hundreds of islands—spans five novels and eight short stories. Le Guin wrote the first installment, A Wizard of Earthsea, in 1968, and finished five decades later with a short story published in The Paris Review.
Fox, whose credits include Oscar nominees Michael Clayton and Nightcrawler, received Le Guin's blessing to adapt the books before her death in 2018 at age 88. In a statement, the producer said Le Guin is "second only to Tolkien" in the fantasy genre, and described the project as "a sacred trust and priority for me as well as an opportunity to create an iconic piece of American culture."
Others have attempted to bring Earthsea to the screen before, and fell far short of "iconic." A miniseries made for the Sci-Fi Channel in 2004, featuring a teleplay co-written by Le Guin, was so reviled by the author she wrote an essay titled "A Whitewashed Earthsea: How the Sci Fi Channel Wrecked My Books." (Le Guin took particular exception to the network casting white actors to play characters described in the books as non-white.)
At least in this case, Le Guin's family have faith Fox and A24 can do the books justice.
"Ursula long hoped to see an adaptation of Earthsea that represented a collaboration between her ideas and words, and the visual storytelling of others," Le Guin's son, Theo Downes-Le Guin, told Deadline. "I feel very fortunate that, with Jennifer Fox and A24, we have a bedrock of producing and development experience that can bring the sweeping narrative and moral truths of my mother's work to screen."