If you must know anything about the Shadow Fold, it is this: You must be very, very afraid. On the next Netflix Shadow and bone adaptation, the country of Ravka was divided in two centuries by a mad Grisha called the Black Heretic. As the story goes, Black Heretic lost control of his shadow-casting abilities in his lust for power, resulting in a black void called the Shadow Fold that separates West Ravka, and its ports, from the rest of the country. To make it through, the Ravkans must face near certain death, but the journey is a necessary challenge for supplies to be distributed across the country. It turns out that Fold also posed a unique challenge for series author Leigh Bardugo and showrunner Eric Heisserer as they adapted the novels for television.

Speaking to CBR, Bardugo and Heisserer explained why Fold will look a bit different from his description in the novels and how they got to his final appearance. They also revealed how Heisserer’s background as a horror writer helped them catch the true terror of the Shadow Fold. They discussed how the series’ themes make it timely for the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, as well as the bond the characters develop through shared feelings of helplessness and marginalization. They also scoffed at his hopes for a second season and more.

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CBR: Each adaptation comes with its own unique set of challenges. What was something about this particular story that was difficult to translate to screen?

Eric Heisserer: That’s a great question, so here is my seven-part lecture series on [the] challenges …

No, I’d say, probably one of the most iconic challenges we ran into was visualizing the Shadow Fold. We could ask everyone at the conference table what their view of that was, both outside and inside, and we would get a different answer from everyone. In the beginning, we did a pretty insane amount of concept art and R&D in the vis[ual] effects ahead to find out what would work.

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At the same time, once you get into the Fold, we can’t go completely black and essentially produce a Netflix radio play there. [laughs] So we also had to find ways to organically bring a certain amount of light into that space.

The ideas we had in the beginning weren’t at all similar to the final iteration of the Fold, but that’s because we really evolved our notions of what looked good and what worked versus the first ideas that we were excited about but hit on. account. collapsed one way or another.

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Leigh Bardugo: I’d never been through this process before, and I didn’t really have a sense of the enormity of putting, you know, in my head, it was like, “There are 10 people and someone with a mic and a couple of cameras.” I think, in my head, maybe I was just imagining a production of something from high school. [laughs] So when I finally saw the scope of this, when I saw the Wendy Partridge costume room, and the rows and rows of costumes and the people who are putting so many hours into this, it really was quite humiliating and a little intimidating.

Certainly the Fold was one of those things that is very different from how I envisioned it, but one of those adaptation moments where you really need to step back and say, “Okay, I want the audience to see the fear in my actors. ‘faces. ” The surprise to me was that Eric’s horror background served us very well, because the bottom line about the Fold is that it should scare you. It doesn’t really matter what it looks like, how we pull it off, but it should terrify you. I think he and our director Lee Toland Krieger brought this real sense of danger and threat to those sequences.

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Friendship is key in this story. Why was it important for you to highlight that aspect of the series in this adaptation?

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Bardugo: I think you understood something that Eric and I discovered in our first conversation together, which was that the subject of these stories is, “Where do I belong?” and the idea of ​​finding the people who will become your family, your army, your support.

At least for me, that has been a big topic in my life. You know, I come from a somewhat difficult family background and I didn’t have close friends when I was very young. I thought something was really happening to me for a long time! But I think that, in many children’s experiences, this feeling: you know what true friendship is because you have read about it; You’ve seen it on TV shows And for me, it was necessary to go to college and find those people. So I think the theme of found family and building this support and how much stronger we are when we are connected to each other is something that was really important to us, especially in a year where we have been so disconnected.

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Hotter: Yes, they are like the Island of Misfit Toys, or I guess, in Inej’s case, a misfit knife. But there is a feeling that society or people in power have told them that they don’t matter, or that they are being marginalized, and they find a link in that and that becomes something deeper for many of them.

I feel like it’s not a huge spoiler to say that the season ends on a cliffhanger. How did you arrive at this decision? Do you have plans for season 2? (Please say yes!)

Bardugo: I mean, we have plans! [laughs] It is not up to us if we can execute them, but we have many plans and many books that have a long way to go. But as my readers have learned, I love good times of suspense. I want you to be satisfied at the end of the story but desperate for more, so I think Eric pulled it off pretty well.

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Hotter: I guess I was the one who said, “I dare you not to give me another season, Netflix.” [laughs]

Bardugo: You are playing a scary game of chickens!

Hotter: It’s a really scary game, I don’t think I should be doing that, but there I am!

A Netflix production of 21 Laps Entertainment by Shawn Levy, Eric Heisserer, Leigh Bardugo, Pouya Shahbazian and Lee Toland Krieger, Shadow and bone stars Jessie Mei Li (Alina Starkov), Archie Renaux (Malyen Oretsev), Freddy Carter (Kaz Brekker), Amita Suman (Inej), Kit Young (Jesper Fahey), Ben Barnes (General Kirigan), Sujaya Dasgupta (Zoya Nazyalensky), Danielle Galligan (Nina Zenik), Daisy Head (Genya Safin), Simon Sears (Ivan), Calahan Skogman (Matthias Helvar), Zoë Wanamaker (Baghra), Kevin Eldon (The Apparat), Julian Kostov (Fedyor), Luke Pasqualino (David ), Jasmine Blackborow (Marie), Gabrielle Brooks (Nadia). The series premieres April 23 on Netflix.

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