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Children of Blood and Bone: Dream Cast (Part 1)

Welcome back to Si' Between the Lines. I know I haven't posted to the blog in a while, but have no fear I am back and I'm bringing you another dream cast!

If you didn't know already, the popular fantasy series, Children of Blood and Bone, is being developed into a movie by Lucasfilm (a subsidiary of Disney). This is so exciting for so many reasons. The first being that this has been one of the best books I've read in a while and has the potential to be the next big book-to-movie series (I'm talking Twilight and Hunger Games caliber). Another reason being that this movie will have a predominantly, if not all, Black cast. That is something we almost never see in major film and television. I am so excited for what this representation will mean for Black people of all ages. This made picking my dream cast for the movie that much more fun.

For part 1 of my dream cast I will be sharing my picks for the main characters of the book. Down the line I will share my picks for the rest of the cast, including the rest of the royal family/guard and the Maji we meet along the way. So now without any further adieu, I present to you my dream cast for the Children of Blood and Bone film adaptation.


1. Chloe Bailey (As Princess Amari)

Chloe was one of the first people to come to mind when I was learning about Amari’s character and her appearance. I think that she would do an amazing job of showing both sides of Amari: the vulnerable and sheltered side, along with the badass sword-wielding princess side. She also has beautiful locs that are so versatile and I think they can be used in such a beautiful and unique way that we don’t always see in movies. Although Chloe is more well known for her music, let’s not forget that she’s been in her acting bag since she was a young girl. With that being said I think this would be a great opportunity for Chloe to showcase her acting abilities in a strong and action-packed role.

2. Jharrel Jerome (As Prince Inan)

This pick was given to me by my boyfriend who read the book before I did. I wasn’t sure who I wanted to play Inan, but after he put the idea for Jharrel Jerome in my head, I couldn’t shake it. That’s all I could see when reading his character in the book. Jerome has proven to be one of the most talented up and coming actors of this decade and I would love to see him as a part of this project. Inan’s character deals with a lot of internal conflict throughout the book and I know that Jerome has the expertise and emotional range to portray those situations based on his roles in When They See Us and Moonlight. On top of his acting ability I also believe that he has the right look to play Inan’s character. Just read the book already if you don’t believe me.

3. Okieriete Onaodowan (As Tzain)

Okay so all of these cast picks are required in my book, but this one right here is ABSOLUTELY MANDATORY! Onaodowan is Tzain in every way shape and form and you can quote me on that. He is a large and strong guy just like Tzain is described in the book, meaning he could throw down in a game of agbon. He knows the protective and brotherly role very well from his experience in Station 19. But above all else, Onaodowan was born to Nigerian parents and has shown pride for his roots in other roles. In Station 19 he mentioned that his character’s mom would curse him out in Yoruba, a prevalent language and ethnic group in Nigeria. And yep, you guessed it! It’s also the language spoken by the Maji people of Orisha in the book. So if all of that doesn’t convince you, I don’t know what will.

4. Viola Davis (As Mama Agba)

I read an article where Tomi Adeyemi, the author of COBAB, stated that it is her dream to have Viola Davis playing as Mama Agba. I definitely have to respect her wishes here because I agree completely. One of the actresses I was initially thinking about was Angela Bassett, and I still think she would do a great job, but I also thought she could work in other roles, like the Queen for example. With that being said I think Davis is the way to go for Mama Agba. She has range like no other and can definitely portray the several complexities that make up Mama Agba's character.

5. Djimon Hounsou (As Baba)

When I was picturing Zellie and Tzain’s father, my mind immediately went to Djimon Hounsou. I know people might think that he looks a bit young for the overworked fishermen described in the book, but that’s nothing a makeup artist can’t fix. Besides, black don’t crack, am I right?


So now you’re probably wondering where’s Zellie? She is the star of the show after all. Well this one was more difficult. I just couldn’t decide on someone as I went through all of the young black actresses that I knew of. That’s when I thought that maybe the role of Zellie should be played by an up and coming actress that isn’t currently well known. Sort of like Jennifer Lawrence and The Hunger Games. Lawrence had plenty of big roles before the book to movie series, but her role as Katniss completely blew up her career. I think that the role of Zellie could definitely be an opportunity similar to that.

Now I don’t want to leave you empty handed so I did end up selecting someone as a placeholder. I came across an image from TeenVougue of Normani (shown below). Once I saw it I thought, hmm this might be the one. I was able to envision her taking on Zellie’s character and I feel like she would fit in well with the rest of the cast I have chosen. With that being said, I don’t think she has any acting experience and this would be a big undertaking, but I won’t count her out just yet. If we don’t get to see Normani as Zellie then I would at least like to get a cameo from her in the role of Binta.

Normani (As Zellie or Binta)

Can you picture it, or is it just me?


I know that there are more roles left to cast but I will stop here for now. Stay tuned along the way as I continue to share my dream cast for the upcoming movie.

I would love to hear your own ideas and suggestions for the Children of Blood and Bone movie. Leave a comment below to share your thoughts.

Happy reading friends!

-Siera Arena


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