Stephen King isn’t the only author who’s becoming more and more prevalent on the big and small screens. It was just announced that Ursula K. Le Guin’s sci-fi novelette Nine Lives is getting a movie adaptation, adding to the growing pile of Le Guin works that are reportedly in the works.
The accomplished author sadly passed away in January, but her written works are living on—not only in the long-awaited documentary Worlds of Ursula K. Le Guin, but also in several planned adaptations of her classic novels and shorter stories. Most of them aren’t exactly in active production right now because these things take time, but let’s hope for some updates soon. Here’s a list of every TV and movie adaptation that might in store for Le Guin fans, as well as sci-fi and fantasy aficionados everywhere.
Deadline reported today that writer and director Siri Rodnes (Grimm Street, Take Your Partners) is teaming up with writer Tom Basden (Fresh Meat) to make a film adaptation of Nine Lives, a 1968 novelette originally released in Playboy. Taking place on a remote planet named Libra, it centers around two mining location scouts named Alvaro and Owen who are upset to learn that their new workers are clones. It’s considered one of Le Guin’s only “hard sci-fi” works.
Before Le Guin passed away earlier this year, she was working on a film adaptation of her 2000 sci-fi novel, The Telling, about a woman from Earth who travels to a planet where culture and beliefs are outlawed. Bayview Films is still eager to bring her story to the big screen, adding 20 Weeks director Leena Pendharkar as writer and director and star Rekha Sharma (Star Trek: Discovery, Battlestar Galactica) as protagonist Sutty Dass. No release date has been announced yet.
This fantasy series, which Le Guin started in the 1960s, has already been adapted thanks to Studio Ghibli’s 2006 Tales From Earthsea. But it looks like we’ll be getting another one. In March, it was announced that producer Jennifer Fox had optioned the film rights to the five-novel Earthsea series, thanks to an agreement made with Le Guin before she passed away. Le Guin’s son, Theo Downes-Le Guin, will executive produce the project.
Left Hand of Darkness
Back in 2017, Left Hand of Darkness—considered one of the finest works in modern feminist science fiction—was picked up for a limited television series by Critical Content. The 1969 novel is about a man who’s sent to a planet on a mission to bring them into a planetary confederation, only to find himself unable to do so because of his ignorance of the planet’s culture. The inhabitants are ambisexual with no fixed gender identity. Le Guin was set to serve as consulting producer, before her passing. There’s been little word about this adaptation since then.
Planet of Exile
Los Angeles Media Group announced in February 2017 that it had acquired the rights to Le Guin’s sci-fi novella Planet of Exile, with plans to have Daniel Stiepleman (On The Basis Of Sex) spearhead the film adaptation. The 1966 novella takes place on a planet inhabited by the native Tevarans and a colony of humans from Earth. As the planet faces a years-long winter, one of the Tevarans makes her way to the colony, indicating change and growth for the two normally isolated groups. There’s been no word about this adaptation since it was originally announced.
Which adaptation are you most looking forward to? Is there a Le Guin work not on this list you’re hoping to see down the road?