Skip to main content

Peacock has canceled an award-winning fantasy epic and fans are up in arms

Peacock VPN
(Image credit: monticello / Shutterstock.com)
Audio player loading…

Peacock has canceled its planned TV adaptation of bestselling and award-winning fantasy trilogy, The Green Bone Saga. 

The Universal-owned streaming service revealed in 2020 that it had begun developing the show, which was due to be based on the first novel in the series, Jade City. Dave Kalstein, who'd most recently overseen Bourne spin-off Treadstone, and Breck Eisner, director of Vin Diesel-led fantasy adventure The Last Witch Hunter and many episodes of The Expanse, were in the charge overseeing the series. 

However, The Green Bone Saga author Fonda J. Lee, revealed that Peacock executives have now changed their minds and will not be moving forward with their show. 

See more

As you can see from Lee's tweet above, the author does hold out hope that the project will be resurrected at another streaming service or by a US broadcaster, but nothing is in the works quite yet. 

The book's fans, however, are up in arms about the cancelation, with many replying to Lee's message in outrage that the show can be axed. 

See more
See more

Lee herself responded with good grace and jokingly added that she would no longer have to hold a Peacock subscription.

See more

What is The Green Bone Saga?

A trilogy of novels, it began in 2017 with Jade City, with Jade War following in 2019, and finally Jade Legacy in 2021.

Set in a mythical world, but in a setting not unlike 1970s Hong Kong, the books take place in Janloon, which is more commonly known as Jade City. 

The country is dominated by Jade, a precious stone that vastly enhances a warrior's capabilities if they possess it. Trade of the stone dominates the land, much like Spice in Dune, and the powerful Kaul family uses it to enhance their magical abilities and defend the island from foreign invasion, as well as hoarding the stone for themselves.

However, when a powerful new drug emerges that lets anyone wield the stone, a rival clan rises up and an all-out war is quickly on the horizon. 

Green Bone Saga

(Image credit: Orbit)

The series has been showered with awards recognition, with Jade City winning the World Fantasy Award in 2018, it was also nominated for a Nebula Award, which annually recognizes the best works of science fiction or fantasy published in the United States.

Jade War was nominated for both Dragon and Ignyte Awards, both of which are fantasy literary prizes, while the entire trilogy is up for the prestigious Hugo Award later this year. Past winners of that prize include James S. A. Corey's series of novels, The Expanse, which was then adapted for a hugely successful TV series, and Becky Chambers' Wayfarers series.


Analysis: Why didn't Peacock have the stone(s)?

A quick read of the story description we've given you and it's easy to surmise that Jade City would have been an expensive show to produce. 

As well as that, the Universal-backed streamer has a lot of young adult fantasy already on its plate. It's about to release Vampire Academy, which brings to life Richelle Mead's novel of the same name. As well as that, there's a planned reboot of Battlestar Galactica, a big-budget adaptation of Victoria Aveyard's young adult series Red Queen, which is being overseen by Elizabeth Banks, and a take on Wild Cards, a series of science fiction superhero shared universe anthologies, which is overseen by George R. R. Martin

It could well have been that Jade City got pushed off the plate by an abundance of other morsels, or things just got too expensive. We'll wait to see if Lee's trilogy finds a TV adaptation home elsewhere. 

Missing Apple TV Plus' sci-fi saga Foundation? We've got some recommendations to tide you over...

Tom Goodwyn
Tom Goodwyn

Tom Goodwyn is TechRadar's Senior Entertainment Editor. He oversees TechRadar’s coverage of the best TV shows, documentaries and movies across streaming services, theaters and beyond. Based in London, he loves nothing more than spending all day in a movie theater, well, he did before he had two children…