Marlon James’ ‘Black Leopard, Red Wolf’ to be adapted by Michael B. Jordan and Warner Bros.

Marlon James’ “Black Leopard, Red Wolf” is an epic fantasy based on African myth and history.
(Mark Seliger; Riverhead Books)

Michael B. Jordan’s Outlier Society and Warner Bros. have acquired the film rights to the epic fantasy novel “Black Leopard, Red Wolf” by Marlon James.

The first novel of the Dark Star trilogy, “Black Leopard, Red Wolf” is based on African mythology. Set in a world of competing kingdoms and violent political upheaval, the book follows a character known as Tracker, who has a keen sense of smell and is hired to find a missing child. His best friend is the shape-shifting Black Leopard.

“Together, these misfits reside at the heart of James’ story and two more complex, maddening, amoral, sympathetic characters have rarely been found in literature, with the Leopard first a mentor to the Tracker and then at times a burden and a curse (and, likely, vice versa),” described the Times in its review, which called the novel “for the most part, absolutely brilliant.”

The novel, published by Riverhead Books, was released Feb. 5.


James is best known as the author of the 2015 Man Booker-winning “A Brief History of Seven Killings.” He will serve as an executive producer on the project.

“Black Leopard, Red Wolf” is the first acquisition since Warner Bros. signed Jordan’s Outlier Society to a first-look deal.

Jordan, known for starring in the “Creed” films as well as playing Erik Killmonger in the Academy Award-nominated “Black Panther,” founded the production company in 2016.

In addition to pledging Outlier’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, Jordan helped Warner Bros.’ parent WarnerMedia to adopt a company-wide policy aimed at having more women, people of color, members of LGBTQ communities, people with disabilities and other underrepresented groups in greater numbers in front of and behind the camera.

Twitter: @tracycbrown