EXCLUSIVE: Mark Lawrence’s fantasy novel trilogy One Word Kill is the latest YA book series to be adapted for television.
Holly Phillips, who created and served as showrunner for BBC/Netflix teen series Get Even, is adapting the books for The Cry producer Synchronicity Films and Wild Sheep, the production company set up by former Netflix exec Erik Barmack.
The two companies will co-produce the adaptation.
One Word Kill, otherwise known as Impossible Times, was first published in May 2019 followed by Limited Wish and Dispel Illusion later that year.
The books have been described as Ready Player One meets Stranger Things and Game of Thrones creator George R.R. Martin said that he “enjoyed the hell out of One Word Kill”.
One Word Kill begins when fifteen-year-old boy-genius Nick Hayes discovers he’s dying. And it isn’t even the strangest thing to happen to him that week. Nick and his Dungeons & Dragons-playing friends are used to living in their imaginations, but when a new girl, Mia, joins the group and reality becomes weirder than the fantasy world they visit in their weekly games, none of them are prepared for what comes next.
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A strange, yet curiously familiar, man is following Nick, with abilities that just shouldn’t exist. And this man bears a cryptic message: Mia is in grave danger, though she doesn’t know it yet. She needs Nick’s help…now. He finds himself in a race against time to unravel an impossible mystery and save the girl. And all that stands in his way is a probably terminal disease, a knife-wielding maniac and the laws of Physics. Challenge accepted.
Holly Phillips said, “One Word Kill captures the joy and the messiness of being a teenager. It’s about finding your tribe and the sacrifices you’ll make for them once you’ve found them. I can’t wait to bring it to life.”
Erik Barmack added, “Claire and her team are experts at producing drama that is watched around the world. I couldn’t be more thrilled to be partnering with her and Mark on this unique YA project.”
Synchronicity Films founder and creative director Claire Mundell said, “Erik’s understanding of the global scripted marketplace is second to none, and we are genuinely thrilled to be working with him to bring Mark’s addictive book trilogy to the screen. This story has it all: fantasy, high stakes, romance – and Dungeons and Dragons. With her incredible track record of creating award-winning shows, Holly is the perfect writer to adapt these fantasy novels for a YA audience.”
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