N.K. Jemisin's Hugo-Winning Broken Earth Trilogy Is Coming to the Big Screen

The cover of a collected edition of N.K. Jemisin's Broken Earth trilogy.
Image: Orbit

N.K. Jemisin has already made history by winning three consecutive Hugo awards for each entry in her Broken Earth trilogy: The Fifth Season, The Obelisk Gate, and The Stone Sky. Now, the perhaps inevitable next step is here, with a just-announced big-screen deal with Sony’s TriStar Pictures that will see the author adapting her own novels.


Deadline broke the news, noting that it was a “seven figure deal,” and Jemisin herself shared the story on Twitter (further down the thread, she joyfully emphasized the part about “the author will adapt the books herself”).

Sharp-eyed readers may recall that The Fifth Season was, at one time, being developed as a TV series for TNT—but that was back in 2017, and obviously the situation has changed. As Deadline reminds us, the series is set on “a harsh futuristic Earth and a continent called the Stillness, which endures seasonal apocalyptic events that shake the world and its inhabitants during these ‘seasons.’ They hole up in communities and then rebuild. Key to that effort are ‘orogenes,’ individuals who can draw incredible magical power from reservoirs of the Earth. They are trained for the task from childhood in brutal fashion, by a societal order called the Guardians. The orogenes kind of hold the world together and stave off eruptions, but they are treated badly.” So far there’s zero information regarding who might direct or star in the Broken Earth film (or presumably films, though there’s no info on that either), but we’ll obviously be keeping a close eye on this exciting new development.

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io9 News Editor, here since 2016. Previously SF Bay Guardian newspaper (RIP), SFSU (MA, Cinema Studies), member of the SF Bay Area Film Critics Circle, big fan of horror, metal, and verrry small dogs.


Dr Emilio Lizardo

Broken Earth was fantastic but it didn’t deserve three Hugos. It was three books the same way Lord of the Rings was three books. In the afterwards, she admits it was one book released in three parts because it was too damn long to release in one volume.

Basically, she was hogging all the Hugos. There were other very worthy nominees in those years by Anne Leckie, Yoon Ha Lee, and Beckie Chalmers. Although, it is admittedly easy to argue that each third of Jemisin’s long-ass book is better than any other novel published that year and each third did come much closer to telling a complete story than many entries in a series do.