The fan-favorite sci-fi novel Iron Widow is headed to the big screen. On Thursday, it was announced (via Variety) that the New York Times bestselling novel, which is written by author and YouTube content creator Xiran Jay Zhao, has been optioned for a film by Erik Feig's Picturestart. Reports indicate that the goal is to turn the premise into a science fiction franchise. J.C. Lee (Love, Victor, Bad Genius) is reportedly set to write the screenplay. Picturestart's Jessica Switch and Julia Hammer will produce with Feig, with Samie Kim Falvey executive producing.
Iron Widow follows the story of 18-year-old Zetian, who offers herself up as a concubine-pilot, to assassinate the ace male pilot responsible for her sister's death. But she gets her vengeance in a way nobody expected-she kills him through the psychic link between pilots and emerges from the cockpit unscathed. She is labeled an Iron Widow, a much-feared and much-silenced kind of female pilot who can sacrifice boys to power up Chrysalises instead. To tame her unnerving yet invaluable mental strength, she is paired up with Li Shimin, the strongest and most controversial male pilot in Huaxia. But now that Zetian has had a taste of power, she will not cower so easily. She will miss no opportunity to leverage their combined might and infamy to survive attempt after attempt on her life, until she can figure out exactly why the pilot system works in its misogynist way-and stop more girls from being sacrificed.
"MY BOOK IS GETTING DEVELOPED INTO A MOVIE BY THE PEOPLE WHO MADE THE TWILIGHT, HUNGER GAMES, AND DIVERGENT MOVIES HAPPEN???" Zhao wrote in an Instagram post when the news was announced. "IT'S SO SURREAL CONSIDERING THAT AT THE START OF 2020 I WAS JUST SOME LOSER STRAIGHT OUT OF UNIVERSITY GETTING YELLED AT BY THEIR PARENTS TO "GET A REAL JOB" 😳"
When Iron Widow was first released in 2021, it became a runaway hit, making the New York Times Bestseller list for 41 weeks. It has since been translated into 14 languages, and developed a following on TikTok's BookTok community. A second novel in the series, titled Iron Widow 2: Heavenly Tyrant, is set to be released next year.
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