Xiran Jay Zhao’s Pacific Rim-like bestselling novel is getting a film adaptation


Announcements for 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 meets The Hunger Games? Do I have your attention? Picturestart snapped up the adaptive rights to the YA property with the interest of building a franchise. The premise for the story is wild, so hang onto something while I regale you with the details.

According to Amazon’s official descriptionIron Widow blends Chinese history and mecha science-fiction for a thrill ride that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

The boys of Huaxia dream of pairing up with girls to pilot Chrysalises, giant transforming robots that can battle the mecha aliens that lurk beyond the Great Wall. It doesn’t matter that the girls often die from the mental strain.

When 18-year-old Zetian offers herself up as a concubine-pilot, it’s to assassinate the ace male pilot responsible for her sister’s death. But she gets her vengeance in a way nobody expected—she kills him through the psychic link between pilots and emerges from the cockpit unscathed. She is labeled an Iron Widow, a much-feared and much-silenced kind of female pilot who can sacrifice boys to power up Chrysalises instead.​

To tame her unnerving yet invaluable mental strength, she is paired up with Li Shimin, the strongest and most controversial male pilot in Huaxia​. But now that Zetian has had a taste of power, she will not cower so easily. She will miss no opportunity to leverage their combined might and infamy to survive attempt after attempt on her life until she can figure out exactly why the pilot system works in its misogynist way—and stop more girls from being sacrificed.

Jessica Switch, Julia Hammer, and Erik Feig will produce through Picturestart, with Samie Kim Falvey executive producing. The novel by Xiran Jay Zhao secured a position on the bestseller chart for 41 consecutive weeks. Additionally, 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 meet her demands.

What do you think about the concept for Iron Widow? It will be cool to see a new take on mecha-based sci-fi drama on the big screen. Iron Widow is already so well-regarded, making this announcement even sweeter. I can’t wait to check it out.



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