Thursday, June 10, 2021

Wait, has Keira Knightley been cast as Anaander Mianaai in an "Ancillary Justice" series?

From a new profile in Harper's Bazaar:

Now, though, she is deep in research for a new project based on the bestselling sci-fi novel Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie, which is set to start shooting later in the year, pandemic permitting. "It’s about power. The questions within my character are, 'What is the purpose of conquest? What are the motivations to rule?' So I’m reading lots of books about dictators, and fantasising about intergalactic domination while I’m doing the washing-up and changing the baby’s nappy..."

Ann Leckie in 2014:

Basically, Ancillary Justice has been optioned for TV. Now, “optioned” doesn’t necessarily mean that anything is going to actually happen–things get optioned and then never made, quite frequently.

So who has this option, you ask? It’s production company Fabrik and Fox Television Studios. 


I am also aware, of course, that bringing AJ to any sort of screen (not counting your eReader screen, of course!) would be…an interestingly difficult project. I made sure to have a conversation with the folks at Fabrik about my specific concerns–namely, the approach to gender, and the issue of whitewashing (as in, I do not want to see the book whitewashed, I would like to namedrop LeGuin and mention her Earthsea experience here, thank you). I was very pleased with their response. And in fact, if I had been the least bit unhappy with how that conversation came out, I would not be writing this blog post now.

The fact remains that even with all the best intentions in the world, there’s a lot of leeway to really misstep badly in trying to bring AJ to any kind of visual medium.