Calling all Grishaverse fans! Netflix is officially making a live-action adaptation of Shadow and Bone, and TV Guide is here with all the latest scoop on this 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 the fantastical world of magic, romance, and monsters from the novels to life. Set in what books fans 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...
When does it premiere?
Sadly, Netflix has not announced a premiere date for Shadow and Bone yet. Production on Season 1 wrapped in February of 2020, with many cast members announcing that filming had come to an end on social media. Optimistically speaking, we could see the series debut later in 2020, but there are no guarantees, especially considering how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected many projects in post-production.
Netflix assured investors on their quarterly earnings call that shutdowns have not greatly affected projects in post-production and they do not anticipate changes to their 2020 release schedule. That could mean Shadow and Bones' release will continue on as scheduled — even if we don't know what the schedule was.
Who has been cast?
Netflix has announced a ton of casting for the major roles in the upcoming series, and it's full of fresh new faces and one or two very familiar ones!
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, a.k.a the Darkling, and Archie Renaux has been tapped to play Alina's childhood friend (and love interest) Malyen Oretsev. Other Shadow and Bone characters who have been cast in Season 1 include Sujaya Dasguptato 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, our gangsters are here and accounted for! Freddy Carter has been cast as Kaz Brekker, and 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 who has not been cast is Wylan Van Eck.
If you want to put some names to faces, Leigh Bardugo posted a cute roll call video on Instagram of all the actors telling you which characters they play.
What is the plot?
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. Chronologically, the events of the Six of Crows novels take place after the Shadow and Bone series, making it a mystery how these two stories will collide in Netflix's adaptation. Though we don't yet know how the TV series will manage to tell both tales, we do know that we'll see characters from both take on major roles in the on-screen adaptation.
How many episodes will it have?
Season 1 will consist of 8 episodes — an episode count becoming more and more common for Netflix's original series.
Is there a trailer?
Netflix has not released a trailer for the series yet, but Grishaverse author Leigh Bardugo will be sitting on a New York Comic-Con 2020 panel with the showrunner of the Netflix adaptation, Eric Heisserer, to discuss all things Grishaverse. We're keeping our eyes peeled for any teaser trailers or clips that might accompany this panel!
Stay tuned for more...