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One of the most expansive fantasy book series out there may be heading to the small screen soon. A series adaptation is reportedly in the works for the books that open The Ritfwar Cycle, a sprawling saga of more than 30 novels and short stories created by author Raymond E. Feist.
Deadline reports that fledgling production company Six Studios (led by “lifelong fans of comic book, fantasy/sci-fi, and horror” Jeff Huang and Carl Choi) has picked up the rights to the first six books in the series, with an eye toward adapting the stories for TV. It’s a pickup that lands “one of the best known pieces of fantasy IP not yet adapted for the screen,” according to the report, and taps a bestselling franchise that has cumulatively sold more than 20 million copies globally.
Set in the magical worlds of Midkemia and Kelewan, The Riftwar Universe began in the early 1980s as an alternative roleplaying game fantasy setting inspired by Feist’s own preoccupation with Dungeons & Dragons. The first book, Magician, debuted in 1982, launching a franchise that expanded its themes of multidimensional travel with additional writing on later titles from author Janny Wurts. The final book in the saga, Feist’s Magician’s End, was published in 2013.
Like Dungeons & Dragons, The Riftwar Cycle borrows fantasy elements from J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings series while expanding its setting into sci-fi territory as a multiverse that can be traversed by passing through rifts. The first six books in the series come from Feist’s firt pair of trilogies — The Riftwar Saga, which launched the franchise, and its followup The Empire Trilogy. Wurst joined the series as a co-writer beginning with Daughter of the Empire (1987), the first book in the Empire trilogy.
Six Studios has reportedly recruited writers Hannah Friedman (Willow at Disney+, Obi-Wan Kenobi), Jacob Pinion (Fear the Walking Dead), and Nick Bernardone (Fear the Walking Dead, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt) to adapt Feist’s work for the small screen, with Huang and Choi producing. Lucasfilm studio veterans Kiri Hart (Soul, Rogue One) and Stephen Feder (Solo, The Grandmaster) are attached as consultants, “with additional creative team hires expected in the coming weeks,” according to Deadline.
There’s no early word on when The Riftwar Cycle might make its series debut, nor where it might appear on the TV dial. Huang said the goal is to “do justice” to a fantasy series he’s been a fan of since his first reading encounter with Magician.
“I fell in love with The Riftwar Cycle from the very first chapter, and it’s been a lifelong dream to see Raymond and Janny’s extraordinary worlds come to life onscreen,” said Huang via the report. “I am thrilled that Carl and I have been entrusted to make the dream come true and do justice to this seminal work in the fantasy canon.”