Calling all Grishaverse fans: Netflix's Shadow and Bone adaptation is on its way, and the first official trailer has been released. The series, which wrapped back in March 2020 before COVID-19 paused entertainment productions, is officially set to premiere in April, and TV Guide has compiled all the latest information on the highly anticipated new series.
Based on Leigh Bardugo's bestselling book series Shadow and Bone and Six of Crows, this Netflix Original promises to bring to life the novels' fantastical world of magic, romance, and monsters. Set in what fans of the books call the Grishaverse, Shadow and Bone takes place in a world cleaved in two by a magical expanse of darkness known as the Shadow Fold. The story follows Alina Starkov, a young soldier who discovers her own hidden power could finally unite her divided country, but political and magical machinations threaten to overwhelm Alina as she struggles to hone her new power.
Six of Crows, on the other hand, is more of a heist adventure, focusing on a gang of criminals constantly on the hunt for their next job and the next big score. The synopsis of the series previews a union of these two worlds, teasing, "Thugs, thieves, assassins, and saints are at war now, and it will take more than magic to survive."
Here's everything we know so far about Netflix's adaptation of Shadow and Bone...
The first official full-length trailer has been released, and it shows Alina (Jesse Mei Li) being revealed as a Sun Summoner -- someone who can summon light and could be the key to saving the world. Naturally, as we discover in the trailer, her powers have put a dangerous target on her back. Watch the trailer here:
Netflix has announced that the series will premiere on April 23, 2021. Season 1 will have eight episodes.
The first teaser trailer was revealed during IGN's Fan Fest Shadow and Bone panel in late February, which united the cast for the first time since filming to discuss the series and what fans can expect when it premieres. The teaser focuses heavy on Colonel Kirigan, aka The Darkling (Ben Barnes), discovering Alina and her powers after her first journey into the Shadow Fold. The Darkling's clawed ring makes a special appearance, and it also gave us our first good look at Mal (Archie Renaux) and the Six of Crows characters (more info about how they'll fit into the first season of Shadow and Bone is below).
Netflix has announced a ton of casting for the upcoming series, and it's full of one or two very familiar names, as well as a lot of fresh faces.
On the Shadow and Bone side of things, Jessie Mei Li will play our heroine, Alina Starkov. Ben Barnes has been cast as General Kirigan, aka the Darkling, and Archie Renaux has been tapped to play Alina's childhood friend (and love interest) Malyen Oretsev. Other members of the cast of Shadow and Bone Season 1 include Sujaya Dasgupta as Zoya Nazyalensky, Daisy Head as Genya Safin, Zoë Wanamaker as Baghra, Kevin Eldon as the Apparat, Luke Pasqualino as David, Julian Kostov as Fedyor, Jasmine Blackborow as Marie, Gabrielle Brooks as Nadia, and Simon Sears as Ivan.
As for Six of Crows, Freddy Carter has been cast as Kaz Brekker. He's joined by Amita Suman as Inej Ghafa and Kit Young as Jesper Fahey. Calahan Skogman will play Matthias Helvar, and Danielle Galligan will play Nina Zenik. The one major character from Six of Crows whose casting has not been announced is Wylan Van Eck.
If you want to put faces to names, Leigh Bardugo posted a cute roll call video on Instagram, featuring all the actors announcing which characters they play.
Based on the released synopsis, the show will find its focus in the first novel of the Shadow and Bone series, as Alina discovers her power and realizes she is a Grisha -- someone born with magic. She is whisked away by the Darkling (the Grisha leader) to study with other Grisha so she can use her power to destroy the Shadow Fold, a massive barrier of darkness that cuts her country of Ravka in two.
Though Shadow and Bone may be the title of this TV series (after Bardugo's first Grishaverse novel), Six of Crows fans won't be left out in the cold, since Season 1 will attempt to merge both of Bardugo's book series into one narrative. The Six of Crows novels follow a criminal gang in Ketterdam (a city of industry outside Ravkan territory) as they take on a mission to rescue a prisoner held captive by one of Ravka's neighboring enemies.
Showrunner Eric Heisserer revealed in Dec. 2020 that he and Bardugo created prequel stories for the main Six of Crows characters in order to introduce them in the new series, allowing the audience to get to know them even though the events of Six of Crows will not play out on screen until the series finishes the Shadow and Bone trilogy story. "What Leigh [Bardugo] and I had to do was essentially invent prequel stories for the key Six of Crows characters this season — Kaz, Inej, and Jesper — to fit alongside what is happening in the Shadow and Bone storyline," Heisserer explained in a statement. "That's been the heavy lifting."
"We've taken the stories of Shadow and Bone and the characters of Six of Crows and we've brought them together in what I think will be a really unexpected way," Bardugo said in a statement. "Eric [Heisserer] and our writers' room and our directors have built something entirely new that still somehow stays true to the characters and to the heart of the stories. And it wasn't easy! Eric took two fantasy series — with powers and creatures and horrors and heists — and molded them into this cohesive, incredible thing."
Heisserer also teased that characters will cross paths who don't meet in the books. "I get most excited talking about certain characters meeting certain other characters — meetings that don't happen in the books because they're set on different timelines," he said. "But they happen in the show, and I believe those moments are meaningful."
Shadow and Bone premieres Friday, April 23 on Netflix.