- “Shadow and Bone” showrunner Eric Heisserer once said he had a “three-season plan” for the series.
- But he tells Insider that’s not fixed — he has ideas for up to even four seasons.
- Netflix hasn’t greenlit season two, though, because it depends on how many people watch season one.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
‘s newest fantasy drama is “Shadow and Bone,” the first season of which is adapted from author Leigh Bardugo’s “Grishaverse” series. Ahead of the April 23 premiere, Insider spoke with showrunner Eric Heisserer about how the show could span across multiple seasons — all depending on how big of an audience the first batch of episodes reaches.
“I have lots of ideas,” Heisserer said when asked about his future season plans. “Oh boy, I’ve got a season two plan. I’ve got a season three plan. I have my eyes on season four. There are definitely lots of plans, but right now it’s a lot of wishful thinking because who knows where the show’s going to land with the public.”
When speaking to Collider from the set of “Shadow and Bone” in 2019, Heisserer initially said he had pitched a three-season plan. But Heisserer now tells Insider that the number isn’t that fixed and he might have misspoke.
“I gotta be honest with you, I don’t remember why or where I came up with that number,” he said through laughter. “Maybe I’d been up for 30 hours straight.”
“I could say, I hope that I get three seasons,” Heisserer continued. “That would be lovely, but you know Netflix hasn’t even called me to say if I get a second one yet.”
Future seasons of ‘Shadow and Bone’ depend on how many people watch the first season
Heisserer said he knows that there’s “a recipe” Netflix has for deciding if a series goes to season two (or beyond).
“I know there are metrics,” he said. “There are benchmarks to hit, some milestone that let them know that season two is worth the investment. I know whatever those numbers are, it exceeds the book fandom by a few times over. So we have to get far more non-readers engaged in the show than readers.”
The “Shadow and Bone” showrunner said this is a “daunting task,” but noted that they’ll have the global reach of Netflix behind the series. Heisserer equated the streaming company’s strategy with a character named Kaz Brekker in the “Shadow and Bone” series (who appeared in Bardugo’s “Six of Crows” duology): a cunning gang leader who “leaves nothing to chance.”
“They’ve been playing their cards close to the vest — they’ve been Kaz Brekker-ing me,” Heisserer said. “So they haven’t shared with me what any of that info is. They’re just like, ‘We’ll let you know when the numbers come in, we’ll give you a call.’ So who knows where that’s going to land.”
Heisserer said that the uncertainty of “Shadow and Bone’s” TV audience may have affected how big of a budget he had to work with.
“They were very cautious about the budget of this show,” he said. “We did not get as much as say other notable Netflix fantasy shows. Maybe in part because we were in the YA department. But I did everything I could to be sure that every Kruge you saw was spent on screen. Now it’s just to see if the show works for the audience.”
[Editor’s note: “Kruge” is one of the currencies within the Grishaverse.]
Insider also spoke with Shawn Levy, one of the executive producers of “Shadow and Bone” and founder of 21 Laps Entertainment, who has an overall deal at Netflix.
“I am definitely very privy to Eric’s ideas and aspirations for the future seasons of ‘Shadow and Bone,'” Levy told Insider. “They’re really cool ideas. I really want to keep watching this show. And as a producer, I really want to keep making this show.”
He continued: “And — or but — I don’t know which is better, the reality is that season two and beyond on ‘Shadow and Bone,’ and the vast majority of shows on Netflix and most other networks, are viewership-dependent. So we’re in this ‘wait and see’ period. But the ideas that Eric has cooking up are really compelling. I think if audiences find and embrace ‘Shadow and Bone,’ they’re in for a real treat in future seasons.”
The first season of “Shadow and Bone” premieres on Friday, April 23.