Legion M Develops Brian Staveley’s “The Emperor’s Blades” Fantasy Epic for Television Series with “The Lord of the Rings” Trilogy Co-Producer Rick Porras

Weta Workshop Has Been Engaged to Provide Concept Artwork and Plans to Work Closely With the One-Hour Fantasy Series Brian Staveley’s epic fantasy trilogy The Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne […]

Weta Workshop Has Been Engaged to Provide Concept Artwork and Plans to Work Closely With the One-Hour Fantasy Series

Brian Staveley’s epic fantasy trilogy The Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne has been put into development as a television series titled after its first novel, The Emperor’s Blades, by Legion M (Memory: The Origins of Alien, Mandy, Jay and Silent Bob Reboot).

The Lord of the Rings trilogy co-producer and second unit director Rick Porras (Forrest Gump, Contact) and writer/producer Robbie Silverman (Hero) join as executive producers together with Legion M’s Terri Lubaroff and David Baxter. Legion M has also engaged with Weta Workshop to create concept artwork for The Emperor’s Blades and contribute throughout production as they have done in The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit and Avatar franchises.

Fan-owned Legion M plans to shop the series in early 2020, and will work with its fast growing community of 100,000+ passionate entertainment fans to create awareness and nurture grassroots momentum for the remarkable award-winning novels of The Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne trilogy, which has been translated into twelve languages and has grossed over $6.5 million in sales. Besides the television series, Legion M plans to develop The Emperor’s Blades as a multi-pronged brand with merchandise and comic books in the same vein as the company’s first published comic book Girl With No Name, which is simultaneously being developed as a feature film.

Terri Lubaroff, Legion M COO and head of content said, “Bringing the robust universe of The Emperor’s Blades to a fan-owned entertainment company like Legion M means harnessing the power of the crowd in unique and disruptive ways. The idea of ‘fans first’ will be at the forefront of our process, as we provide the Legion with opportunities to participate in our journey from books to a television series, a comic book, merchandise, and beyond. We’re thrilled to be working with Brian Staveley and our entire team, and feel that Brian is just getting started on building a world that will have a long-lasting impact on generations of fantasy readers.” 

In The Emperor’s Blades, Valyn, Kaden and Adare, the three adult children of the recently assassinated Annurian Emperor, have not seen each other for ten years. Valyn is an officer in the Kettral, an elite military force that flies covert missions on giant hawks. Kaden, heir to the throne, trains with the Shin monks high in the Bone Mountains to achieve an emotionless Zen state of mind  — a mysterious prerequisite to becoming an Annurian Emperor, while Adare remains in the Dawn Palace. Now a high minister, she deftly navigates the Machiavellian politics of the empire. With the murder of their father, the siblings are plunged into a deep conspiracy that threatens the empire to its core, puts their lives at risk, and may spell the doom of all humanity if they can’t work together to stop an ancient enemy.

 “When I first met with Legion M, it was obvious that they were the right home for The Emperor’s Blades because they immediately understood my vision for the world as a series, and of equal importance, they get the novels’ fandom,” said Brian Staveley, author of The Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne trilogy. “I couldn’t be more excited about bringing The Emperor’s Blades to television and expanding its world with a talented team of creatives.”

David Baxter, VP of development at Legion M was convinced that Legion M was the ideal place to develop The Emperor’s Blades into a rich multi-tiered IP. “Brian Staveley’s fast-paced and thoroughly modern take on high fantasy is absolutely unique and impossible to put down. I’m thrilled with the vast possibilities for dramatic storytelling presented by Staveley’s world of Annur. Working with Rick Porras, co-producer of The Lord of the Rings trilogy, and Weta Workshop’s Richard Taylor and his team has been awe-inspiring. They collectively understand the DNA of fantasy world-building better than anyone, having helped realize with Peter Jackson the most successful fantasy franchise of all time.”

Rick Porras, The Lord of the Rings co-producer added, “Since The Lord of the Rings, I’ve read numerous fantasy books that were always derivative and felt dusty. The Emperor’s Blades, on the other hand, was clearly written by a 21st century writer. It feels modern which is very cool for fantasy. And, like The Lord of the Rings, The Emperor’s Blades has both great scope and great intimacy, with characters we want to keep cutting back to.”

“Weta Workshop is terrifically excited by the prospect of helping Rick and Legion M bring The Emperor’s Blades to television,” said Richard Taylor, Weta Workshop co-founder and creative director. “There is so much potential to create a deeply immersive fantasy world, using Brian Staveley’s rich source material and its enthralling characters.”

 “I’m a huge fantasy nerd who’s read everything. When I started reading The Emperor’s Blades as a fan, I knew immediately that it was something special,” said writer/producer Robbie Silverman. “The world Brian created is something I haven’t seen before, and it has a fascinating blend of Asian and Western cultures that instantly drew me in.”

Legion M brings together more than 100,000 fans from around the world, including more than 25,000 investors, as members of an entertainment company, harnessing the power of fandom to grow its slate of genre-oriented and fan-focused films, television series, and digital projects, including its feature documentary Memory: The Origins of Alien by Alexandre O. Philippe (Leap of Faith), Kevin Smith’s Jay and Silent Bob Reboot, and the recently announced gritty, hard-edged epic Archenemy starring Joe Manganiello.

To celebrate the acquisition, Legion M is selling a special limited-quantity of all three novels of Brian Staveley’s trilogy, signed by the author. Fans can purchase the autographed novels now at legionm.com/store.  Limited edition pins, clothing, and collectibles are in the works.

To learn more about The Emperor’s Blades, head to legionm.com/blades and brianstaveley.com.

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