P. Djéli Clarks Novella Ring Shout - A Supernatural Period Piece
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P. Djéli Clark’s Novella “Ring Shout” Will See Life As A Television Adaptation

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BY February 11, 2021

A lot of adaptation news is emerging this week. First up we have an announcement that the newest novella by author P. Djéli Clark has been picked up for adaptation. Ring Shout came out just a few months ago, but it has already been optioned by Skydance Television. Actress Kiki Layne – who appeared in this year’s hit Netflix film The Old Guard – has been tapped to star in the Ring Shout adaptation. Kasi Lemmons (HarrietLuke Cage) will serve as showrunner and will also write and direct the series. Author P. Djéli Clark will also serve as executive producer on the Ring Shout adaptation.

A New Voice In Fiction and Television

Ring Shout Adaptation Image via Tor/Forge

Clark is the author of several acclaimed novellas including The Black God’s Drums and The Haunting of Tram Car 015. Both titles received nominations for Hugo Awards in recent years. His first novel A Master of Djinn is due for release in 2021. Clark is clearly excited about bringing a Ring Shout adaptation to the screen. Here is what Clark had to say about the news.

“How I’m feeling? Ecstatic and a little in a daze. I loved this story. I loved writing this story. Still, I never expected so many people to love it back. And for that I’m humbled and grateful. Being an executive producer (I can’t even believe I’m saying that!) will be a brand new role for me and I’m looking at this like a learning process, where I also get to share some ideas. I’ve had great energetic conversations with Marc Evans at Skydance, and with amazing talents like Kiki Layne and Kasi Lemmons and I’m certain this story is in the best hands–who can give it the empathy and creativity needed for a visual adaptation. I’m as eager as everyone else to see where they take it!”

Ring Shout Is A Supernatural Period Piece

Ring Shout takes place in 1920’s Georgia, shortly after the Tulsa Massacre. It depicts the growing power of the Ku Klux Klan, and reveals that the organization is not just full of hateful bigots. It’s also got monsters from another dimension who want to take over our world. Kiki Layne will presumably play the protagonist Maryse Boudreaux who stumble across a KKK plot that involves the very real film Birth of a Nation. She and her friends team up to fight the monsters, and the white supremacists alike.

Kiki Layne The Old Guard Kiki Layne in The Old Guard | Image via Netflix

This adaptation follows in the footsteps of other successful adaptations of novels that see people of color dealing with supernatural horror (as a metaphor for white supremacy). Much like this year’s Lovecraft Country and to some extent Watchmen. Notably, both of those shows also dealt with the ramifications of the Tulsa Massacre. They also all feature people of color in starring roles both onscreen and off, a marked improvement for diversity in the genre.

We look forward to learning more about this Ring Shout adaptation, and what network it ends up on. To stay up to date on all of your genre news, be sure to follow Comic Years on Facebook and Twitter today!

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Emily O'Donnell is a writer and photographer with roots in some of the earliest online fandoms. She cut her genre teeth on the Wizard of Oz books at the tender age of 6 years old, and was reading epic adult fantasy novels by the age of 10. Decades later, she still consumes genre fiction like there is no tomorrow. She is delighted to be living through the golden age of sci-fi and fantasy popularity. She is unashamed of the amount of fanfiction that still lingers online under her name.

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