Netflix is returning to the Grishaverse.
The fantasy series “Shadow and Bone” has been renewed for a second season, the streamer announced on Monday during its Geeked Week. Executive producer and showrunner Eric Heisserer and the main cast — Jessie Mei Li, Archie Renaux, Freddy Carter, Amita Suman, Kit Young, Danielle Galligan, Calahan Skogman, and Ben Barnes, as well as the beloved goat Milo — are all set to return to the show, which is based on the best-selling Grishaverse book series by Leigh Bardugo, who is also executive producing.
Shawn Levy is also returning to executive produce with his company 21 Laps Entertainment, along with Pouya Shahbazian for Loom Studios.
“I’m honored and thrilled to return to the Grishaverse and continue the stories of these endearing characters, particularly Milo,” Heisserer said in a statement.
“I’ve been writing in the Grishaverse for nearly ten years now, so I’m thrilled we get to keep this adventure going,” Bardugo said. “There are so many places we’ve barely gotten to visit and I can’t wait to introduce our audience to more of the saints, soldiers, thugs, thieves, princes and privateers who make this world so much fun to explore. It’s going to be real magic to see our brilliant, talented cast expand.”
Set in the mythical kingdom of Ravka, which is split in two by a massive dark storm called the Fold, “Shadow and Bone” was an instant hit when it debuted on Netflix on April 23, reaching No. 1 on the streamer’s Top 10 list in 79 countries, including the U.S., Australia, Germany, Russia, Brazil, Spain and South Africa. According to Netflix, more than 55 million households watched the series over its first 28 days, and the show also helped to propel several of Bardugo’s Grishaverse novels back onto the New York Times bestseller list.
Season 1 of the series — spoiler alert for those who’ve yet to watch — ended with Li’s Alina Starkov (a.k.a. the Sun Summoner, with the power to manifest light) escaping the control of the malevolent Darkling (Barnes) from within the Fold after several other characters come to her aid. After Alina and her compatriots go their separate ways, the Darkling emerges from the Fold, scarred yet even more powerful, with several “volcra” (a.k.a. fearsome monsters who inhabit the Fold) trailing behind him.
In an interview with Variety before the Season 1 debut, Heisserer said his decision to conclude the season with such a major cliffhanger “was me daring Netflix not to renew us.”
Heisserer took an unusual approach to adapting Bardugo’s novels, combining the “Shadow and Bone” trilogy, which follows Alina’s story, with the two “Six of Crows” novels, which take place later within the world and with a separate set of characters. He told Variety in April that he’d already informally started work on Season 2, to give himself a head start on sorting how the show will continue to merge the two storylines.
“We had so much fun at the moments when these two sets of characters could find ways to integrate,” Heisserer said. “I have a lot of fun theories about how we can make this happen organically again, without really disturbing too much of the separate storylines that they’re on.”
Like Season 1, Season 2 will consist of eight, one-hour episodes.
Last year, Levy’s 21 Laps Entertainment, which also produces “Stranger Things” and “Unsolved Mysteries” for Netflix, expanded its first-look deal with the streamer to include features; to date, the company has more than 15 new film and TV titles in active development there. Levy also just recently wrapped production as the director and producer of the Netflix feature “The Adam Project,” starring Ryan Reynolds, Zoe Saldana, Jennifer Garner, Mark Ruffalo and Catherine Keener.
“My 21 Laps colleagues and I are thrilled that audiences around the world can continue to explore the Grishaverse and revel in the epic, unique storytelling of ‘Shadow and Bone,’” Levy said in a statement. “The fun of our jobs as producers is the collaboration with creative partners who inspire us. Leigh Bardugo and Eric Heisserer are two such partners; together they have created a world and pantheon of characters that fans all over the globe have embraced. We can’t wait to take viewers on the wild ride that comes next.”