Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers will publish the debut young adult novel by legendary artist, director, writer, and producer Frank Miller, who will illustrate, and acclaimed writer/producer Thomas Wheeler, who will write. Tentatively titled Cursed, the project reimagines the King Arthur legend from the point of view of sixteen-year-old Nimue—the young woman who first wielded Excalibur and became the all-powerful Lady of the Lake. Cursed will feature full-color and black and white illustrations, and will be published in hardcover, audio, and eBook. Justin Chanda, Vice President and Publisher of Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, acquired North American and audio rights from Dorian Karchmar and Jamie Carr of William Morris Endeavor, and will edit the book.
“I have always been entranced by the mythological Arthur story—and by Nimue, in particular,” Frank Miller said. “It can be interpreted in any number of ways—from a delightful children’s story, as in The Sword in the Stone, to a terrifying interpretation like Excalibur. This tale represents an incredible opportunity and an exciting challenge for me as an illustrator, and I’m excited to collaborate on the story with Thomas Wheeler. I inherited a collection of antique children’s books from my mother, and I’ve always wanted to have a crack at it myself. This project is a dream come true.”
“I am honored and humbled to be working with the living legend Frank Miller on Cursed,” Thomas Wheeler said. “I cannot think of a writer-artist who has had a more formative impact on my growth as a storyteller. His characters, images, and dark worlds have haunted and delighted me since I was ten years old. To be a witness and accomplice to Frank’s first journey into the Arthurian mythos is the very definition of a dream come true. Together we hope to shake the foundations of this beloved mythology and in the process create a new hero for a new age.”
This visually stunning and altogether new take on the classic tale is a coming-of-age adventure that takes place in the Dark Ages and centers on Nimue, the daughter of a high priestess, who is blessed with a powerful connection to the Feywild—the living energy of the forest. Over the course of her journey, Nimue will become the symbol of courage and rebellion against the terrifying Red Paladins and a corrupt king. She will also befriend a young sellsword named Arthur, with no inkling of the role he will play in their shared arc of history.
“Frank and Tom have reimagined and reinvigorated a legendary story by shining a spotlight on a heroine who has never gotten her full due,” said Chanda. “This is an empowering, thrilling, and relevant tale for our times.”