Is ‘Damsel’ based on a book?
(Credit: Netflix)

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Is ‘Damsel’ based on a book?

After Stranger Things and Enola Holmes, Millie Bobby Brown has joined hands with Netflix once more, this time to bring us the dragon-taming Princess Elodie in Damsel. Many are confused about whether Damsel is based on a book because a similar novel exists. But it is more of a chicken-and-egg situation here.

The upcoming dark fantasy film has generated significant buzz ahead of its release. Directed by Juan Carlos Fresnadillo and written by Dan Mazeau, the film boasts a star-studded cast featuring Brown, Angela Bassett, Robin Wright, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Ray Winstone, and Nick Robinson.

Damsel tells the story of a sheltered young noblewoman, Princess Elodie, who finds herself thrust into a dangerous situation when she agrees to marry a handsome prince, only to discover that his family intends to sacrifice her to settle an ancient debt to a fire-breathing dragon. Elodie must rely on her wit and fighter instincts to survive in a cave with the fearsome dragon. 

Elodie’s ripped hair and clothing may see many of the younger generations to see her as we once saw Xena, the warrior princess, but only time will tell how many will have their queer awakenings because of it. But let us dive back into the query at hand: Is Damsel based on a book? The answer is both yes and no. 

Damsel is also a book 

In a unique collaboration, Netflix partnered with Random House Worlds and author Evelyn Skye to create a novelisation based on the film’s original screenplay.

According to reports, the novel was not the source material for the film; instead, it was based on the an original screenplay by Dan Mazeau. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, author Evelyn Skye explained, “The easiest way to think about it is this: Dan Mazeau wrote the original screenplay. I was able to read an early draft and was given free rein to write my own version of the story, which ultimately became the novel. Both the novel and the movie may stem from the same origin, but they are also each their own unique works of art.”

This collaborative process allowed Skye and the filmmakers to exchange ideas and influence each other’s work while preserving the distinct characteristics of their respective mediums. Skye emphasised that while the novel and the film share common origins, they are also unique works of art in their own right.

You can stream Damsel on Netflix from March 8th, 2024, and catch the trailer here: