• R.F. Kuang’s fantasy novel Babel has been optioned by independent studio, wiip.
  • The novel won both a Nebula Award and Locus Award plus the 2023 British Book Award. 
  • Babel follows a boy named Robin who is accepted to the mysterious Royal Institute of Translation.


R.F. Kuang‘s bestselling 2022 fantasy novel has been optioned for an onscreen adaptation. Deadline broke the news on the Babel adaptation – read on to find out what we know so far.

Babel follows a boy named Robin who, after losing his family to cholera, is brought from China to London by the mysterious Professor Lowell. Trained in multiple languages for admission to Babel, the center of translation and silver-working, Robin’s worldview shifts, however, when he encounters the shadowy Hermes Society. Robin must decide whether to remain in his comfortable life pursuing knowledge or take down the system that controls the entire world.

RELATED: Read our book review of Babel by R.F. Kuang

The follow-up to Kuang’s grimdark historical fantasy series The Poppy War, Babel was immediately well received. It won the 2023 British Book Award for Fiction and the Locus Award for Fantasy Novel. It also won the Nebula Award for Best Novel. Kuang’s next novel, Yellowface, also received positive reviews.

Independent studio wiip optioned Babel for television/film adaptation. The studio’s previous projects include Mare of Easttown, Dickinson and The Summer I Turned Pretty. Wiip’s Paul Lee and Josh Stern are attached to executive produce, and the search is on for a director and writer.

Babel is one of my favorite books from the last few years, and I’m thrilled to see it hit a new audience. Would you rather have a film or television series adaptation of this exciting project? Let us know below and keep an eye out for more news.