We have known about the development deal that Song of Fire and Ice author George R. R. Martin has had with HBO for a while now. We were beginning to wonder if anything was going to become of it beyond the grandiose GAME OF THRONES spinoff spec scripts. He has latched on to another SF&F writer’s work and we will see if it ever comes to the network. Target as a potential series will be writer Nnedi Okorafo’s WHO FEARS DEATH. It is an award-winning book from 2010 that takes place in a future Sudan, Africa.
The deal has only been confirmed by Okorafo until now. HBO just recently acknowledged that the concept is indeed in development spearheaded by R. R. Martin. Joining him as executive producer is someone well known in the halls of Home Box Office. He is the former President of HBO Programming Michael Lombardo. GAME OF THRONES was developed on his watch. Together these two just might pull off this unique work. Exactly what is the project?
Amazon describes the book as follows:
In a post-apocalyptic Africa, the world has changed in many ways; yet in one region genocide between tribes still bloodies the land. A woman who has survived the annihilation of her village and a terrible rape by an enemy general wanders into the desert, hoping to die. Instead, she gives birth to an angry baby girl with hair and skin the color of sand. Gripped by the certainty that her daughter is different—special—she names her Onyesonwu, which means “Who fears death?” in an ancient language.
It doesn’t take long for Onye to understand that she is physically and socially marked by the circumstances of her conception. She is Ewu—a child of rape who is expected to live a life of violence, a half-breed rejected by her community. But Onye is not the average Ewu. Even as a child, she manifests the beginnings of a remarkable and unique magic. As she grows, so do her abilities, and during an inadvertent visit to the spirit realm, she learns something terrifying: someone powerful is trying to kill her.
Desperate to elude her would-be murderer and to understand her own nature, she embarks on a journey in which she grapples with nature, tradition, history, true love, and the spiritual mysteries of her culture, and ultimately learns why she was given the name she bears: Who Fears Death.
Also attached at this time to the project is a writer to convert the novel into a screenplay Assigned to the task is Selwyn Seyfu Hinds. It seems to be a heady and unique tale. If it can actually be filmed in Africa that would create vivid imagery. Only time will tell whether it comes to fruition. We will watch for it. It seems to be a heady and unique tale. If it can actually be filmed in Africa that would create vivid imagery. Only time will tell whether it comes to fruition. We will watch for it.