Ness, who has written nine books as well as the screenplay to 2016 fantasy feature A Monster Calls starring Sigourney Weaver, Felicity Jones and Liam Neeson, will write and exec produce the adaptation.
J.J. Abrams will also exec produce alongside Bad Robot’s Head of Television, Ben Stephenson. Executive Vice President of Television Rachel Rusch Rich will co-executive produce.
The book is set in 1957 during the middle of the Cold War. Sarah Dewhurst, a biracial teen, and her father, outcasts in their little town of Frome, Washington, are forced to hire a dragon to work their farm, something only the poorest of the poor ever resort to. The dragon, Kazimir, has more to him than meets the eye, though. Sarah cannot help but be curious about him, an animal who supposedly doesn’t have a soul, but who is seemingly intent on keeping her safe. Because the dragon knows something she doesn’t. He has arrived at the farm with a prophecy on his mind. A prophecy that involves a deadly assassin, a cult of dragon worshippers, two FBI agents in hot pursuit—and somehow, Sarah Dewhurst herself.
It marks the latest literary adaptation for the production company, whose Lovecraft Country, based on Matt Ruff’s 2016 book, just finished airing on HBO. The company also makes Little Voice for Apple TV+ and Westworld for HBO and has three new projects – Duster, Overlook, and an untitled DC Justice League Dark series – set up at HBO Max as well as Demimonde at HBO and Lisey’s Story and My Glory Was I Had Such Friends at Apple TV+.
Burn was published on July 5, 2020 by HarperCollins in the US and Walker Books in the UK. Ness is represented for publishing and screenwriting by Michelle Kaas in the UK and attorney Howard Ambramson. Burn is represented on this deal by CAA.