One of science fiction’s most famous novels, Ursula K. Le Guin’s The Left Hand of Darkness, is being developed as a limited series, according to Variety. Entertainment studio Critical Content and Limitless executive producer Tom Forman will adapt the book.
An adaptation isn’t a done deal: no screenwriter has joined the project, and the series doesn’t have a home. However, if it is ordered to a series, it’ll follow the recent success of another adaptation of a feminist novel: Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale. Forman will be an executive producer on the project, along with fellow Limitless producers Andrew Marcus and Raymond Ricord.
The story follows a human envoy from Earth named Genly Ai, who travels to a planet called Gethen. There he’s confounded by the planet’s culture and its androgynous inhabitants, who can shift between genders. Ai is trying to entice the planet into the Ekumen, a peaceful collection of planets, but his mission is complicated by Gethen politics. Originally published in 1969, the novel earned Le Guin the 1970 Hugo and Nebula Awards, and has remained a popular book with fans.
It will be interesting to see how this project plays out. Le Guin will be a consulting producer on the show, but she has been outspoken about adaptations of her work in the past. Le Guin lambasted Legend of Earthsea, the SCI FI channel’s miniseries based on her novel A Wizard of Earthsea, saying that it was a “far cry from the Earthsea I envisioned,” and that the producers on the project only wanted the name for a ”generic McMagic movie with a meaningless plot based on sex and violence.” It’s safe to say that this new project probably won’t end up with the Syfy channel.