Shadow and Bone hits Netflix this week, and everyone from fans to the cast and crew is hoping it will be "the next Game of Thrones" in the burgeoning high fantasy TV adaptation genre. That includes 23-year-old star Archie Renaux, who appeared in a movie with Game of Thrones star Isaac Hempstead Wright just before filming Shadow and Bone. In an exclusive interview with PopCulture.com, Renaux talked about taking over as one of the genre's leading men.
Just before filming Shadow and Bone, Renaux was working on a sci-fi movie called Voyagers with Wright, so we asked Renaux if he got any pointers about leading a blockbuster fantasy franchise. He answered: "Well, not as much as I'd like to!" He and Wright must have talked about the show at least a bit, because Renaux said: "He knows about the show, I remember speaking to him about it, and he was like 'wow, it sounds very good.' That made me really excited about it all."
Renaux continued: "He's seen how it's going to look in the trailer and stuff, and I think he's pretty impressed by it all." Now that Shadow and Bone is finally premiering, he made a mental note to reconnect with Wright for more tips on navigating a fantasy franchise. "I'll have to ask him because I mean, he did that for like, 10 years. He was doing that for a long time. So yeah, he is I guess the guy to go-to about fantasy," he laughed.
Renaux plays Malyen "Mal" Oretsev on Shadow and Bone — an adaptation of novels by author Leigh Bardugo, which premieres on Netflix this Friday. He was not shy in saying that he and the rest of the cast and crew are hoping for a renewal so they will have more time to tell the full story in Bardugo's books. Personally, he said that he is "fairly confident" that the show will earn a nod of approval from fans and executives and ultimately get picked up for another season.
"We do hear 'Game of Thrones' quite a bit," he said. "That'd be amazing if it had the same success as that, and I really hope that it does."
Following the success of Game of Thrones, many critics have speculated that prestige TV-style adaptations of high fantasy novels are becoming the next big trend, akin to superhero comic book adaptations at the movies. One thing that may play to Shadow and Bone's advantage is its remixed timeline — the TV version takes two storylines that are separate in Bardugo's books and combines them for a new spin on the whole saga.
Whether that will play well with fans — new or old — remains to be seen, but Renaux seemed confident that it will. Shadow and Bone premieres on Friday, April 25, on Netflix.