Announcements about adaptations of bestselling novels are a dime a dozen, but what if I told you Xiran Jay Zhao‘s Iron Widow is like Pacific Rim meetings The Hunger Games? Do I have your attention? Picturestart picked up the adaptive rights to the YA property with an interest in building a franchise. The premise of the story is wild, so hang on while I spoil you with the details.
According to Amazon’s official description, Iron Widow blends Chinese history and mecha science fiction into a thrilling ride that will keep you on the edge of your seat.
The boys of Huaxia dream of pairing up with girls to pilot the Chrysalises, giant transforming robots that can fight the mecha creatures lurking behind the Great Wall of China. It does not matter that the girls often die from the psychological strain.
When 18-year-old Zetian offers herself as a concubine pilot, it is to assassinate the skilled male pilot responsible for her sister’s death. But she gets her revenge in a way no one expected – she kills him through the psychic connection between pilots and gets out of the cockpit unscathed. She is labeled as an Iron Widow, a much feared and very secretive type of female pilot who can sacrifice boys to power the Chrysalises instead.
To tame her nervous but priceless mental strength, she is paired with Li Shimin, the strongest and most controversial male pilot in Huaxia. But now that Zetian has gotten a taste for power, she won’t budge so easily. She won’t miss any opportunity to harness their combined power and infamy to survive attempt after attempt on her life until she can figure out exactly why the pilot system works in its misogynistic way—and prevent more girls from being victimized .
Jessica Switch, Julia Hammer and Erik Feig will produce through Picturestart, with Samie Kim Falvey producing. The novel by Xiran Jay Zhao secured a position on the bestseller list for 41 consecutive weeks. In addition, the book is available in 14 different languages. My partner has read the novel and swears by it. She’s been pushing me to read it for months, and after today’s announcement, I think I’ll give in to her demand.
What do you think of the concept? Iron Widow? It will be cool to see a new version of mecha-based sci-fi drama on the big screen. Iron Widow is already so well-regarded, which makes this announcement even sweeter. I can’t wait to check it out.