Bad Robot Developing TV Adaptation of Patrick Ness Novel

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J.J. Abrams will executive produce the show about a poor family forced to hire a dragon to work their farm.


Bad Robot, who recently turned Matt Ruff’s high-concept horror novel Lovecraft Country into a well-received series, is giving the television treatment to another bizarre book. The production company is developing Patrick Ness’ novel Burn, about a poor family forced to hire a dragon as a farmhand during the Cold War, into a TV series.

As reported by Deadline, Ness, whose past credits include the screenplay for the 2016 film A Monster Calls, will write the adaptation and serve as executive producer alongside J.J. Abrams and Bad Robot’s Head of Television Ben Stephenson. The genre-bending story follows a teenage girl named Sarah Dewhurst living as an outcast with her father in Frome, Washington in 1957. Sarah’s father has to stoop to hiring a dragon, a frowned-upon practice reserved for the extremely poor, in order to work their farm. Sarah forms an unexpected bond with the dragon, who appears to be intelligent and protective despite the long-held belief that dragons are soulless creatures. Toss an ancient prophecy, a dragon-worshipping cult, and the FBI into the mix, and you have yourself an extremely unconventional novel-turned-TV-series.


There’s no word on where the show might end up, although Bad Robot has recently produced several high-profile series for HBO and HBO Max, including Lovecraft Country, Watchmen, and Westworld. The company is also behind Little Voice as well as the upcoming Stephen King adaptation Lisey’s Story, both at Apple TV+, so either of those platforms seems like a good bet for Burn. For more news on what’s coming to TV, click here to check out the new trailer for The CW’s Walker, Texas Ranger reboot starring Jared Padalecki.

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