Eliza Dushku, best-known for playing Faith in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the lead role on Tru Calling and Dollhouse, is bringing Glen Cook's Black Company series of novels and short stories to the screen. The actress is attached to produce and star, with her taking on the role of the Lady.
Glen Cook's novel series began in 1984 with The Black Company. It is followed by Shadows Linger and The White Rose, the three books retroactively named The Books of the North (or The Black Company Trilogy). It was then followed a spin-off interquel, The Silver Spike, and The Books of the South, consisting of Shadow Games and Dreams of Steel. The series continued with the four-volume Glittering Stone series (Bleak Seasons, She is the Darkness, Water Sleeps and Soldiers Live). Cook is currently writing Port of Shadows, which is set between The White Rose and the later books in the series.
The Black Company is known for its strong moral ambiguity as the titular mercenary army is hired by the Lady and her Northern Empire to crush its remaining enemies. However, the army gradually realises the threat posed by the Lady and the Empire and betrays her, joining forces with the prophecised saviour figure known as the White Rose. A series of alliances and betrayals follow, until the Lady, reluctantly, is forced to lend her military and magical aid to the Black Company when faced with the threat of an ancient, greater evil known as the Dominator.
The Black Company was dark and gritty at a time when most fantasy was anything but, with a strong cast of memorable characters. Central to the saga is the complex and occasionally tortured relationship between Croaker, the chronicler and sometimes leader of the Black Company, and the Lady, a former arch-enemy turned highly redoubtable ally.
The series is also noted for its profound impact on later fantasy series: Steven Erikson and Ian Esslemont have credited it as the primary influence on their Malazan Book of the Fallen series (and, indeed, they "borrowed" Cook's naming conventions for their series), whilst George R.R. Martin has credited Cook as one of several influences on A Song of Ice and Fire.
The TV project is being produced by Dushku and David Goyer (Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy) and will be shopped to TV networks in the coming weeks.
This is interesting and unexpected news, but Dushku could make for an interesting Lady and the series is different enough from a lot of the fantasy genre to stand out from the crowd. However, the series gets more grandiose as it goes along, with larger battles involving more magic appearing. It'll be interesting to see if the developers can get a network interested who'll be willing to spend the money required to do the story justice.